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Van Wert County urges residents to be Cautions, ensure measles vaccination is current


Though there have not been reported cases of measles in Van Wert County, health officials say it isn’t a bad idea to be cautious during an outbreak. It is a good idea to check vaccinations since most of the patients with measles were not vaccinated against it.

At present, the disease is at a 20-year high. For the past decade measles has not caused any death in the county. In this year alone, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put the number of diagnosed cases at 307 in statistics released Thursday in Ohio. Most of the cases were reported in Knox and Holmes counties and the earlier cases involved unvaccinated travelers.

Van Wert County Health Department has urged residents to exercise caution while travelling to eastern parts of the state and to ensure their vaccinations are up to date.

The health department has urged people who are not vaccinated against measles to visit their physician or contact the health department to be vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR). According to the health department, the vaccine should start being effective against measles in 2-4 weeks.

Ohio Department of Health’s interim director, Lance Himes, said when one is fully vaccinated against MMR, the vaccine is 97% effective in keeping measles at bay.

The ODH has told new college and high school graduates to recheck their vaccinations to ensure they are up-to-date. In an effort to combat the outbreak, the ODH has distributed MMR doses in excess of 13,000 doses.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by an easy-to-spread virus and if an unimmunized person contacts the virus he/she is very likely to get ill. Symptoms of infection appear in 1-3 weeks after exposure. Its symptoms include cough, runny nose, pink eye, rash and fever. It can be transmitted 4 days before the appearance of the rash.

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