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HOLMES COUNTY, Ohio — Thousands are expected to make their way to Holmes and Wayne counties this weekend for two major events, and that has health officials on high alert.

They’re warning people to avoid the area if they don’t have their measles vaccination.

“Measles is a viral illness and is probably one of the most contagious illnesses that we have,” said Holmes County Health Commissioner Dr. D.J. McFadden.

He said a lot of people from out of town will be coming into the region for “Horse Progress Days” being held in Holmes County and a fundraiser for the “Ohio’s Crippled Children Fund” being held in Wayne County. He said between the two, the risk for exposure is high.

“We want them to be aware that measles are here and if you’re properly vaccinated — it’s just like going overseas to a country that has polio– if you get the vaccination, you’re safe to go; if not, you need to use caution,” he said.

Holmes County has been offering free vaccinations to the public since the measles outbreak started back in March, and is continuing to leading up to these events.

To date, there’ve been more than 350 cases of measles reported in the region.

For more information on measles and where to go to get vaccinated, CLICK HERE.