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Is Ohio’s Measles Outbreak Winding Down?

Monday, July 21, 2014 at 4:11 PM

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Image by Sanofi Pasteur of flickr.com

The state Department of Health is inching toward declaring the outbreak of measles in Ohio is over. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze has the latest on an outbreak that has totaled hundreds of cases among Ohio’s Amish.

The last time state health officials got a report of a new case of measles was nearly two weeks ago—July 9—in Holmes County. But by the rule of thumb of the Centers for Disease Control, it’ll be another month, with no new cases, before the state can declare victory.

Still, Melanie Amato of the Ohio Department of Health says things seem to be under control, largely because counties spread the vaccination word – and the vaccine itself— and largely because the Amish population of central Ohio was ready to listen.

“They got to see what the measles actually looked like in their own family or in their own community on first sight. Instead of hearing what could/should/may happen to you, I think the fact that they got to see it and experience it around their loved ones helped them to see why the vaccinations are so important in these outbreak situations.”

In all, Ohio has had 371 cases of measles reported in nine counties. That accounts for about two thirds of all the cases in the United States this year – and this year recorded the most cases of any year since measles was largely eradicated in the U.S. in 2000. 

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Community/Human Interest, Ethics/Religion, Health

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