Columbus Public Health (CPH) and Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) are investigating a measles outbreak associated with a local child care facility. Currently, there are four confirmed cases, all in unvaccinated children with no travel history. The child care facility is cooperating, has notified parents, and has temporarily closed down.
CPH and FCPH are conducting case investigations and contact tracing on the four cases. “We are working diligently with the cases to identify any potential exposures and to notify people who were exposed,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts. “The most important thing you can do to protect against measles is to get vaccinated with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, which is safe and highly effective.”
With the risk for community spread, parents are encouraged to make sure their children are up to date on their childhood immunizations, including the MMR vaccine. Ninety percent of unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to measles will become infected. About one in five people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized.
Measles is preventable with two doses of MMR vaccine. MMR vaccines are available at Columbus Public Health during regular vaccine clinic hours and at Franklin County Public Health by appointment only. Children also can get MMR vaccines from their pediatrician or medical home.
Measles spreads easily by coughing, talking or being in the same room with someone who has measles. Initial symptoms of measles include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and watery eyes followed by a rash that typically spreads from the head to the rest of the body. It generally takes 8 to 12 days from exposure to someone with measles to the first symptom, which is usually fever. The measles rash usually appears two to three days after the fever begins. If you have symptoms of measles, call your doctor or clinic and they will let you know if you need to come in for a visit. Call your provider ahead of time to let them know about symptoms and potential exposure before going in.
“Measles is both highly contagious and preventable,” said Joe Mazzola, Franklin County Health Commissioner. “It can be a severe illness, so we strongly encourage anyone who has not been vaccinated to get vaccinated to prevent further spread.”
These four new cases bring the total number of confirmed measles cases in Franklin County to eight since June 2022.
For questions, call Columbus Public Health at 614-645-1519 or Franklin County Public Health at 614-525-3791.
For more information, visit https://www.columbus.gov/publichealth/programs/Infectious-Disease-Investigation/Measles-Information/ and https://myfcph.org/measles/.