More than 80 children have been infected with measles in central Ohio, and outbreaks in the state continue to spread rapidly among unvaccinated populations.
The measles virus, which has largely spread around the city of Columbus, has so far infected at least 81 children, 29 of whom have been hospitalized, officials reported last week.
Health officials have not reported any deaths related to the outbreak that began in November and began to grow into a major public health scare earlier this month.
The outbreak appears to be spreading mainly among unvaccinated people. His 76 confirmed cases in Columbus were unvaccinated children.
Doctors and local health officials warn that misinformation and vaccine hesitance, which intensified during the pandemic, are exacerbating measles outbreaks.
Columbus Health Commissioner Myseeka Roberts said in an interview earlier this month that the outbreak occurred when a small number of people returned from measles-endemic areas and the virus easily spread among unvaccinated children. said to have begun.
“The reason so many of our young children are affected by this measles epidemic is because it is a large portion of the unvaccinated population,” she said.
More than two-thirds of confirmed cases to date are in children aged 1 to 5 years.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a first dose of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine for children 14 to 15 months of age, and a second dose at 4 to 6 years of age.
Measles is a disease caused by a highly contagious airborne virus.