Measles outbreak sickens more than 12 children in Ohio, local health authorities seek help from CDC | CNN

CNN — A rising measles outbreak in Columbus, Ohio has made more than a dozen unvaccinated children sick, nine of whom have been hospitalized, and local public health authorities are seeking assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Columbus Public Health spokeswoman Kelly Newman told CNN via email on Thursday that “we have asked the CDC for assistance and they will send two epidemiologists later this month to assist with the local investigation.” The CDC confirmed Thursday that it is aware of the case and is “deploying a small team to Ohio to assist with the investigation.” “State and local health officials are in the process of notifying potentially exposed residents, ensuring they are vaccinated, and helping community members who may have been exposed understand the signs and symptoms of measles infection,” CDC spokesperson Kristen Nordlund said in an email. .” on CNN. “Anyone who may have been exposed should follow up with their healthcare provider.” When the measles outbreak was first reported last week, there were only four confirmed cases at one daycare center that was temporarily closed, but the number of confirmed cases and related facilities increased. As of Friday morning, Columbus Public Health has updated its investigation to include 19 confirmed cases at 10 daycare centers and two schools. “All cases occur in unvaccinated children and all but one are under the age of four. One child is 6 years old,” Newman said. Health officials from Columbus Public Health and Franklin County Public Health have been investigating these cases and tracing all contacts who may have been exposed to the measles virus. Columbus Public Health officials are encouraging parents to make sure their children have up-to-date immunizations, including the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine known as the MMR vaccine. Experts recommend that children get the first vaccine between 12 and 15 months of age and the second between 4 and 6 years of age. In case of contact with the measles virus, a single dose is effective in preventing measles by about 93%. Two doses are about 97% effective. Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. “We are working diligently with cases to identify potential exposures and inform those exposed,” Mysheika Roberts said in her press release last week. “The most important thing you can do to prevent measles is to get the safe and highly effective measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.” According to Columbus Public Health, about 90% of unvaccinated people exposed to measles become infected, and about 1 in 5 people who contract measles in the United States are hospitalized. However, the CDC says more than 90% of children in the United States have been vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella by age 2. Measles comes into direct contact with or shares the germs when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or when another person touches the same object or surface. Measles symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, and a red patchy rash. Rarely, it can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis, or death. Dr. David Freedman, Professor Emeritus of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Professor Emeritus of Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said the outbreak in Columbus was caused by an infectious virus environment. “It’s a fairly typical scenario,” he said, of infiltrating the virus and spreading it among unvaccinated people. Traveler’s Health Clinic. Freedman said early in the Covid-19 pandemic, many people stayed home and some healthcare facilities closed, but many children missed routine immunizations and may still not have received their MMR shots. “Across the country, there are many children who are behind in routine vaccinations. So the message is still that children should be vaccinated once they are over the age of one,” said Freedman, spokesperson for the American Society of Infectious Diseases. “Measles is not a particularly winter disease. Because it usually occurs in young children and not those who are immune, travel is less likely to affect it. Most adults have been vaccinated,” he said. “Measles is highly contagious. Measles is probably the most contagious disease we know of. It is probably 10 times more contagious than Corona.” In 1912, measles became a nationally reportable disease in the United States, meaning that health care providers and laboratories had to report diagnosed cases. Over the next decade, an average of about 6,000 disease-related deaths were reported each year. In the 1950s, researchers isolated the measles virus from patients’ blood, and in the 1960s they were able to transform the virus into a vaccine. The vaccine was licensed and used as part of an immunization program. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the measles vaccination program was introduced in the United States in 1963, about 3 to 4 million people nationwide got measles each year. Since then, cases and deaths from measles have plummeted in the United States and other developed countries. In the United States, 963 cases were reported in 1994 and 508 in 1996. The last reported major disease outbreak in the United States was in 2019. It was the largest since the disease was declared eradicated in 2000, and the highest number of cases reported in the United States since 1992 – 31 states. Overall, the number of disease infections reported each year in the United States remains low because of the widespread use of vaccines, said Dr. Martin Hirsch, a professor of medicine at Harvard. Massachusetts General Hospital, also editor-in-chief of the University of Infectious Diseases. According to the CDC, as of October 28, five jurisdictions across the United States had reported a total of 33 cases of eating this year. “More than 90 percent of Americans have been vaccinated against measles. Even though measles is a highly contagious virus, we don’t expect the same percentages we’re seeing now with RSV, for example. We don’t have an RSV vaccine,” Hirsch said. “Most of the disease cases we see come from people coming into this country from other countries with much lower vaccination rates, which then spread to unvaccinated US residents,” said a spokesperson for the American Infectious Disease Society. “So that’s why. If someone with the measles virus enters a country, there’s always a chance they’ll spread it to unvaccinated people.”

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