Ohio measles outbreak expected to last for several months

Health officials anticipate the measles outbreak in Columbus, Ohio — which has now infected at least 50 unvaccinated children — will last for several months. 

More than half of cases are among kids between the ages of 1 and 2. Twenty of the patients have been hospitalized and there have been no reported deaths, according to a dashboard run by the city's health department. 

"I do expect our numbers to continue to grow," Mysheika Roberts, MD, public health commissioner at the Columbus health department, said during a Nov. 30 press conference. "In talking to the CDC and our colleagues across the country who've experienced measles outbreaks, this can last several months."

Fifty cases have been confirmed since the region started investigating the outbreak in early November, which health officials are "pretty confident" is tied to one of four separate cases over the summer among individuals who became infected after traveling to a measles-endemic country, Dr. Roberts said. 

Health officials have continued to urge parents to get their children vaccinated as the outbreak has grown. 

"The message is clear: If you have a child who is 12 months of age and older and has not received their [measles-mumps-rubella] vaccine, please make every effort you can do to get them vaccinated this week," Dr. Roberts said. 

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