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Health & Science

Stark County Measles Case Is First in Ohio This Year

a photo of someone with measles
FOTOHAY
/
SHUTTERSTOCK
A young adult in Stark County has recovered from the measles, but may have been in contact with others who have not been vaccinated.

A young adult in Stark County is the first confirmed case of measles in Ohio this year. In fact, it’s the first confirmed case in Ohio since 2017. 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.

 

 

Officials are monitoring those who may have been in contact with this individual and they are in self-quarantine, Rodriguez said. The measles immunization rate for Ohio is around 90 percent, according to Rodriguez.

Health officials from Stark County have not yet returned inquiries about a county-specific immunization rate.

“A lot of other surrounding states have been seeing outbreaks, so it’s not surprising,” said Rodriguez. “We’ve been waiting for this, but it is also concerning.”

Health officials are urging parents to vaccinate their children this summer, in advance of the school year. Having high community vaccination rates is key to preventing a widespread outbreak, like the outbreak seen in Ohio in 2014 with 382 reported cases.

In May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the number of measles cases this year had climbed to 839 in 23 states, affecting mostly unvaccinated people. 

Rodriguez saids Ohio officials are bracing for more cases this year.