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Local health officials turn to CDC for help as measles outbreak afflicts children in Ohio

 




CNN

A measles epidemic escalated in Columbus, Ohio, sickening dozens of unvaccinated children and hospitalizing nine of them. I am asking for your assistance.

Columbus Public Health spokeswoman Kelly Newman said she had reached out to the CDC for help and said it plans to send two epidemiologists to the field at the end of the month.

The CDC did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

When The measles outbreak was first reported last weekOnly four confirmed cases were confirmed at one childcare facility that was temporarily closed, but the number of cases and associated facilities is increasing.

“As of today, we are investigating 24 cases of measles at nine daycares and two schools,” Newman said. “All cases are in unvaccinated children, all but one under the age of 4. One child is 6 years old.”

Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health health officials are investigating these cases and tracing contacts who may have been exposed to the measles virus.

Columbus Public Health officials urge parents to make sure their children have the latest immunizations, including measles, mumps and rubella vaccines. called MMR vaccine.

Experts recommend that children be vaccinated twice. The first between 12 and 15 months of age and the second between when she is 4 years old and when she is 6 years old. A single dose is about 93% effective in preventing measles virus exposure. Approximately 97% effective with 2 doses.

Columbus Public Health Director Mysheika Roberts, Ph.D. said in a news release last week. “The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from measles is to get a safe and effective measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.”

According to Columbus Public Health, about 90% of people exposed to unvaccinated measles become infected, and 1 in 5 people with measles in the United States are hospitalized.

However According to the CDC More than 90% of U.S. children are vaccinated against measles, mumps, and rubella by the age of two.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that can be spread through the air when an infected person comes in direct contact with or shares the bacteria by coughing or sneezing or by touching the same objects or surfaces. Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a rash of red spots. Rarely, it can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, or death.

The Columbus measles outbreak is a “pretty typical scenario” in which an infectious virus enters one environment and spreads among unvaccinated people, according to the University of Washington Infectious Diseases Honors. Professor David Freedman, Ph.D. University of Alabama at Birmingham Founding Director of Travelers Health Clinic.

In the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people stayed at home and some health facilities were closed, but many children missed routine immunizations, Friedman said. You may not have been vaccinated against MMR.

“There are many children across the country who cannot get routine immunizations. Friedman, a spokesperson for the association, said.

“Measles is not a particularly winter disease. It is usually seen in young children who have no immunity, so they are less likely to be affected by travel. Most adults are vaccinated,” he said. Told. But “measles is highly contagious. Measles is probably the most contagious disease we know. It’s probably 10 times more contagious than Covid.”

In 1912, measles Notifiable infectious disease That meant healthcare providers and laboratories had to report diagnosed cases. In his subsequent decade, an average of about 6,000 measles-related deaths were reported each year.

In the 1950s, researchers isolated the measles virus from a patient’s blood, and in the 1960s successfully transformed it into a vaccine. The vaccine was licensed and used as part of a vaccination program.

In front of the measles vaccination program Introduced in the United States in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people nationwide contract the disease each year, according to the CDC. Since then, measles cases and deaths in the United States and other developed countries have plummeted. In 1994 he had 963 and in 1996 508 cases reported in the United States.

The last major measles outbreak reported in the United States was in 2019. largest since the disease was declared eradicated With more than 1,000 confirmed cases in 31 states in 2000, the United States has the highest number of reported cases since 1992.

Overall, the number of measles infections reported each year in the United States remains low because of the widespread use of the vaccine, Dr. Martin Hirsch said. Professor, Harvard Medical School Massachusetts General Hospital is also editor of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

As of October 28, five US jurisdictions have reported a total of 33 measles cases this year. According to the CDC.

“Over 90% of people in the U.S. are vaccinated against measles, and it’s a highly contagious virus, but I don’t think we’ll see rates like we’re seeing with, say, RSV today. We have the RSV vaccine.” Hirsch said. Surge in Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection All over the country, mainly among children.

“Most of the measles cases we see in the United States are attributed to people coming to the country from other countries where vaccination rates are much lower, followed by transmission to unvaccinated U.S. residents. said Hirsch, spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Association of America. “So there is always the possibility that someone with the measles virus could enter the country and spread it to unvaccinated people.”

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