Due to an ongoing measles outbreak in Columbus, the first in Ohio since 2014, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County reminds parents about the importance of children being vaccinated to protect them from getting measles.

"Immunization is the most important way to keep people safe from vaccine preventable diseases like measles," said Dr. Becky Thomas, Medical Director, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.“But unfortunately, the rates of routine childhood vaccinations have been declining in the United States.”

Unvaccinated individuals are at risk of infection and severe disease. Measles is very contagious and spreads to about 9 out of 10 unvaccinated children who are exposed, even before children have symptoms. Measles virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace after an infected person leaves an area. In addition, 1 in 5 children with measles will need to be hospitalized.

If people do not get recommended vaccinations, diseases like measles, polio, and whooping cough will once again become more common, putting children at risk of serious complications from diseases that can be prevented by available vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Protection recommends all children get two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age.

The measles vaccine is safe and effective with hundreds of millions of doses given safely over the last 50 years. Contact your local pharmacy or healthcare provider. In addition, Public Health is providing measles vaccinations at its clinic at located in the Reibold Building, 117 St. Main St. in downtown Dayton. To schedule an appointment call 937-225-4550.

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