Measles outbreaks prompts concern from Cleveland Clinic

CLEVELAND - The CDC is tracking five outbreaks of the measles from coast to coast, with a total of 10 states reporting cases.

Now, the director of the Center for Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Cleveland Clinic says it's only a matter of time before Ohio joins the list.

"Wherever there are crops of kids who are susceptible to measles and measles gets going, it is so contagious," Dr. Camille Sabella said.

In 2014, the U.S. had 23 measles outbreaks. According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 400 cases predominately occurred among non-vaccinated Amish Ohio communities. Dr. Sabella said the measles has a 90 percent infection rate among close contacts.

There is growing concern it could happen again, given Ohio's status as one of more than a dozen states that allows parents to opt out of mandatory vaccinations for children because of personal beliefs.

The highly contagious infection spreads through coughing and sneezing, according to the CDC. The infection typically starts with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Days after the symptoms begin, small white spots can appear inside the mouth.

"There are definitely real complications from measles," Dr. Sabella said. "There are only theoretical complications from the vaccine. The vaccine has really shown to be incredibly safe and very effective."

Dr. John Cullen, President of the American Academy of Family Physicians released the following statement:

"Vaccines are safe, effective and they save lives. Science has proven there is no link between vaccines and autism. As each outbreak of a preventable infectious disease unfolds, family physicians and our colleagues in the medical community fight to keep the public safe and combat the damage that fake news unleashed."

According to Dr. Sabella children should get their first measles vaccination between 12 and 15 months, a second dose between ages four and six years old.

The governor of the Washington declared a state of emergency because of the amount of confirmed measles cases. The CDC classifies Washington as one of five areas nationwide currently experiencing an outbreak of the illness.

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