What You Need to Know about the Measles Outbreak of 2019

April 26, 2019

What You Need to Know about the Measles Outbreak of 2019

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has not confirmed any measles cases in Ohio, however, neighboring states Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania do have reported cases. Other states with confirmed measles cases include Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee and Washington. As of the CDC’s latest report on May 6, there are a total of 764 confirmed measles cases between these 23 states.

The complete CDC measles vaccination recommendation can be found at this link:  https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/mmr/public/index.html. The Ohio Department of Health provided this further guidance: If you received a measles vaccine in the 1960s, you may not need to be revaccinated. People who have documentation of receiving LIVE measles vaccine in the 1960s do not need to be revaccinated. People who were vaccinated prior to 1968 with either inactivated (killed) measles vaccine or measles vaccine of unknown type should be revaccinated with at least one dose of live attenuated measles vaccine. This recommendation is intended to protect those who may have received killed measles vaccine, which was available in 1963-1967 and was not effective.

What is measles?


According to the CDC, measles is a highly contagious virus that can live for up to two hours in the air or on surfaces after an infected person coughed or sneezed. Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

The CDC reports two doses of measles vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective.

Measles typically begin with high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Two to three days after the first symptoms, tiny white spots called Koplik spots may appear inside the mouth. A rash breaks out three to five days after initial symptoms, usually beginning as flat red spots on the face which spreads downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs and feet. Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. A person’s fever may spike to more than 104o when the rash appears.

If you have any questions, please call the Ashland County Health Department’s Division of Nursing at 419-282-4357.

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