DAYTON, Ohio – Health officials in Montgomery County are on high alert after a resident tested positive for measles, marking the first case of the highly contagious virus in the county in 19 years. The patient, who had visited the emergency department of Dayton Children’s Hospital, potentially exposed others to the disease between January 29 and January 31.
According to Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County, the individual had been at the hospital’s emergency department during the specified dates and times. The agency is now working to notify and track down anyone who may have come into contact with the measles patient during that period.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread through the air, posing a significant risk of infection to those who have not been vaccinated. During the 21-day incubation period, individuals may develop symptoms at any time, so health officials are urging those who were in the vicinity of the patient to monitor themselves carefully.
The Ohio Department of Health emphasized the importance of vaccination, especially in preventing the spread of measles. Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff stressed the key role that vaccination plays in stopping the disease from spreading further.
Measles is a serious illness, and those who may have been exposed to the virus are encouraged to contact Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County. The agency is providing information about potential quarantine measures to individuals who were potentially exposed and is also working to determine their vaccination status.
Health officials are ramping up efforts to address the situation, emphasizing the urgency of seeking immunization for those who are not fully vaccinated against measles. The measles vaccine, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella, is considered highly protective and is recommended for all children.
The National Institute of Health estimates the effectiveness of the MMR vaccine to be 97% for measles prevention after a second vaccination. However, it’s important to note that infants younger than 12 months are not eligible for vaccination.
The recent case of measles in Montgomery County serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vaccination in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. With the threat of measles still lingering, health officials are urging the community to take proactive measures to protect themselves and others from the potentially life-threatening virus.