Ohio measles outbreak hospitalizes 7 children

Health officials in central Ohio are investigating a measles outbreak that has infected at least 18 children, all of whom are unvaccinated, CBS News reported Nov. 16. 

The outbreak has infected children at seven day cares and one school, Kelli Newman, a spokesperson for Columbus Public Health, told CBS. Seventeen of the 18 measles cases are among kids under the age of 5, and seven children have been hospitalized. 

"All the facilities are cooperating with public health, and they have notified all parents and removed all unvaccinated students out of the facility for 21 days after the last case onset," Ms. Newman said. "We continue to work on contract tracing with [Columbus-based] Nationwide Children's Hospital and with affected families. Our investigation and contact tracing is ongoing, and we don't know yet where the outbreak started."

The health department in Franklin County, where Columbus is located, began the investigation on Nov. 9. Only four cases had been confirmed at the time and the outbreak was confined to one child care facility. In the summer, four other cases were confirmed in the county, though it's unclear whether there is any possible link to the current outbreak. 

Measles symptoms usually appear between seven to 14 days after contact with the virus, which is highly contagious, according to the CDC. The disease can be especially dangerous among babies and children under 5. About 1 in 5 people who get measles will be hospitalized, and 1 in 1,000 will develop brain swelling. Children typically receive the first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella shot between 12 and 15 months and the second shot between 4 and 6 years old.

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