MANSFIELD, Ohio (WJW) — Richland Public Health on Friday confirmed a case of measles in a person who visited a public place in the area earlier this week.
Anyone unvaccinated, who visited the Richland Mall during that time, should watch for these symptoms seven to 21 after possible contact with the virus:
- High fever
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Rash appearing 3-5 after initial symptoms
Call your health care provider if you have the above symptoms. Be sure to let them know that you have a potential measles exposure before going into their office.
The department says measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
“I don’t want to be the bearer of bad news, but this outbreak is going to grow. I mean, we are going to get more cases. The questions, is how big will it get?” said Dr. Mysheika Roberts, Columbus Public Health Commissioner.
A few miles south, in Central Ohio, there are 50 reported cases of measles, all among unvaccinated people. That includes a case in Westerville, near Columbus, that is the first case made public in any school district or daycare.
There are vaccine requirements in Ohio, but parents can opt out their children for religious or other reasons.
“It’s around. Parents have to make a decision whether to vaccinate their kids or not,” said one resident.
One dose of MMR is 93% effective at preventing measles and two doses is 97% effective at preventing measles, according to Richland Public Health. The department offers measles vaccines for anyone one year and older. Call 419-774-4500 for questions.
“I am strongly begging, really, individuals to get the MMR vaccine now if they have not been vaccinated,” said Dr. Roberts.
Find out more about measles here.