Measles reaches peak in Ohio

Tyler Trill

Measles in Ohio from on Vimeo.

A virus is making a comeback, and Ohio is the leader in diagnosed cases.

The Center of Disease Control said Ohio had 383 reported cases in 2014, almost 60% of cases in the United States.

Dr. Angela DeJulius said the population has become to lax with the virus.

“… I also think there is a false sense of security,” DeJulius said. “This is generation has grown up never even seeing measles, the fear factor is gone.”

Ohio is one of a few states in the United States that allows parents to opt-out of immunization for medical or philosophical reasons. Concerns about the vaccination causing autism may still loom, even though DeJulius said it has been disproved.

“There was a belief measles immunization caused autism,” DeJulius said, “that theory has been debunked, if you will, it’s been proven conclusively that that’s not the case. But there are people who still oppose anything they don’t feel is natural in terms of medicine.”

DeJulius said Ohio leading the nation in measles had to deal with the Amish community, mainly in central Ohio, which traveled to the Philippines, where the measles are still prevalent.

In a report by the Ohio Department of Health, Knox County, lead the state in cases, with 195. Holmes County had 64, Coshocton County had 48 and Ashland County had 46.

Portage County reported 0 cases, but Portage’s southern neighbor, Stark County, had 6 cases.

DeJulius said even though measles is not in Portage County, if one was to bring in to Kent State University, the results could be disastrous.

“Public health has to respond very quickly if there is a case of measles in a community,” DeJulius said, “especially a community like our campus, where we have close to 7,000 people living in close quarters.”

DeJulius said the university requires students to turn in their records of their MMR immunizations, but the students who have not had their vaccination would be forced to leave until the outbreak subsides.

DeJulius said the Affordable Healthcare Act cover immunizations, so the cost of the MMR is less of an issue as it used to be.

Over 100 cases in 14 states have been reported this January alone.

Typical symptoms of measles are a fever, rash and swelling of the eyes.

Contact Tyler Trill at [email protected].