Ohio reports first case of measles since 2017

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Measles is extremely contagious and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing

Measles vaccine

MIAMI, FL – JANUARY 28: In this photo illustration, a bottle containing a measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Children’s Hospital on January 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. A recent outbreak of measles has some doctors encouraging vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio’s first case of measles this year was found in Stark County, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

The measles case involves a young adult from the area who traveled to a state with confirmed measles cases.

The Department of Health is not disclosing any additional information about the infected person.

This is the first confirmed measles case in Ohio since 2017, according to the Department of Health. Measles cases have also been reported in 28 other states.

Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton is urging Ohioans to get vaccinated.

“Vaccination is the safest, most effective way to prevent serious vaccine-preventable diseases in children and adults, including measles,” Acton said.

Measles is extremely contagious and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing. The virus can live for up to two hours in the air.

If one person has measles, up to 90% of those who come into contact with that person and who are not immune will also become infected, according to the Department of Health.

Measles symptoms include a rash, high fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and red, watery eyes. The rash usually lasts five to six days and begins at the hairline, moves to the face and upper neck and proceeds down the body.

Diarrhea and ear infections are common complications of measles.

More severe complications may also occur. Those complications are common among children under the age of 5, adults older than 20, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children. About one child out of every 1,000 who get measles will develop encephalitis (swelling of the brain) that can lead to convulsions and can leave the child deaf or with an intellectual disability.

One to three of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from respiratory and neurologic complications, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Measles may cause pregnant women who have not had the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby, the Department of Health says.

More information can be found on the CDC’s website.

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