The measles outbreak continues to grow in central Ohio, with 64 cases present in Franklin, Ross, and Richland counties.Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County urges parents to vaccinate their children to protect them from becoming infected. Unvaccinated individuals are at risk of infection and severe disease.

Measles is very contagious. Children infected with measles can spread it to others, even before they have symptoms.The measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air after an infected person leaves the room. Nine out of 10 unvaccinated children who are exposed to the measles will become infected.

Measles can be serious, and about 1 in 5 children who get measles will be hospitalized with complications such as pneumonia, dehydration, or brain swelling. Twenty-five Ohio children have been hospitalized in the current outbreak to date.

“The safest way to protect children from measles is to make sure they are vaccinated,” said Dr. Becky Thomas, Medical Director, Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County.  “Unfortunately, 61 of the children infected in the current outbreak had not been vaccinated.”

Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles from infecting children here in the Miami Valley. During the pandemic many children may have missed receiving routine vaccinations. Parents should talk to their child’s doctor now, to make sure they are up-to-date will all measles vaccinations.

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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