A month after Ohio health officials first detected cases of measles in the state, numbers have quickly climbed, with at least 82 children infected as of Wednesday, according to CBS News.
Columbus Public Health reported that 82 children contracted measles in central Ohio Wednesday, and 32 of the infected children are now hospitalized, according to CBS News. A majority of the children admitted were unvaccinated or partially vaccinated, and 94% of the cases were in children younger than 5.
“The reason why so many of our young children have been impacted by this measles outbreak is because that’s the greatest percentage of the population that’s unvaccinated. The majority of our cases for measles in this outbreak have been unvaccinated,” Columbus Health Commissioner Mysheika Roberts said earlier this month following the first wave of cases. (RELATED: Ohio Officials Ask For CDC’s Help After Measles Outbreak Sickens Dozens Of Children)
Measles, also known as rubeola, is a viral infection that spreads easily, affects children, and can be fatal, but is commonly prevented with vaccination, according to the Mayo Clinic. Common symptoms of the virus include fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes and a skin rash made up of large, flat blotches.
After the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, fewer children received vaccines for measles, as 40 million missed either their first or second doses, according to a joint publication by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
#DYK? Measles is one of the most contagious infectious diseases and can quickly circulate in undervaccinated communities.
Here are 5 things healthcare providers should know about measles: https://t.co/ORZ3iwBVdF pic.twitter.com/NtffIbUvb2
— CDC (@CDCgov) December 28, 2022
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programs were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
Cases were first reported in Ohio in November, when four cases were identified at a child care facility in Franklin County, according to CBS News. By the start of December, cases were reported at a mall, a church and a grocery store, leading local officials in Ohio to request assistance from the CDC.
“As of today, we are investigating 24 cases of measles at nine day cares and two schools,” Columbus Public Health spokesperson Kelli Newman told CNN in November. “Cases are in unvaccinated children, and all but one are less than 4 years old. One child is 6 years old.”
Columbus health officials have warned that 90% of unvaccinated people who are exposed to the virus will be infected, according to CBS News. One in five people who contract the virus will require hospitalization.
Columbus Public Health did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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