The infected person, a young adult who lives in Stark County, had recently traveled to a state with confirmed measles cases, state Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said Friday in a statement obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer.
The patient in this case was infected outside of the state and has since recovered, but not before coming into contact with some people who are believed to be unvaccinated, according to the Ohio Department of Health's Jose Rodriguez. In 2014, there were 382 confirmed cases of measles.
State officials recommended vaccinations as the best way to protect against the highly contagious disease.
"Vaccinations save lives, period". Acton is urging everyone who can get vaccinated to do so. It's the state's first case of 2019 and the first since 2017.
Measles is extremely contagious and can spread to others through coughing and sneezing.
In Israel, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Ukraine, and the Philippines, there are now large outbreaks of measles. In severe cases, measles can cause serious health complications such as pneumonia or encephalitis.
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Cases nationwide have spiked to more than 1,000 this year, the highest annual total since 1992. If one person has measles, up to 90 percent of those who come into contact with that person and who are not immune will also become infected.
It can take up to 18 days for symptoms to appear following exposure to a person with measles.
The most recent national statistics for the United States from the CDC show 91% of children ages 19 to 35 months had received one or more doses of the MMR vaccine.
Health officials from Stark County have not yet returned inquiries about a county-specific immunization rate.
Children should get two vaccines by the time they go to kindergarten, she said.
Ohio public and private schools report data each fall to the Ohio Department of Health. This is why the ODH-supplied vaccination rates may differ slightly from weighted vaccination rates published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.