Measles Outbreak in Ohio Declared Over After 85 Cases
Outbreak declared finished with no new cases after a period of 42 days, or the equivalent of two measles virus incubation periods
By Physician's Briefing Staff | February 06, 2023
MONDAY, Feb. 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) – A central Ohio measles outbreak among children who were not fully vaccinated is now over, public health officials announced Saturday.
Columbus Health declared the outbreak finished with no new cases after a period of 42 days -- the equivalent of two measles virus incubation periods. In all, 85 children were known to be infected in the outbreak, including 36 who were hospitalized, city health department data show. All but five of the children were 5 years and younger. None of the children died.
"We've had low vaccination rates for MMR [measles, mumps, and rubella] in our community for years, but we've never had a measles outbreak like we have now. So, it did take us by surprise," Mysheika Roberts, M.D., M.P.H., health commissioner for the city of Columbus, told CNN .
Cases were initially reported in November and early December. Health officials said they began "sounding the alarm" early to fight the outbreak. They provided information about the ability of the virus to spread easily, and they promoted the importance of getting young children vaccinated against the virus, Roberts said.
"In addition, we've had family members of individuals who have been infected with measles who have been very vocal and said they made a mistake -- they should have gotten their child vaccinated. And I think that has helped as well," Roberts added.
In Central Ohio, the outbreak spread in small pockets of families that had opted out of vaccinating their children, CNN reported. They were influenced by "false information that was distributed about the MMR vaccine being associated with autism," Roberts explained.