First confirmed measles case in Ohio since 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Kathy Plumley raised three kids, and when it was time to go back to school there was one thing that was always on her mind.

Over 1,000 cases of measles have been confirmed in the United States in 2019. (Source: MGN)

"That’s one thing I kept on top of is make sure my kids were vaccinated,” she said.

Although Plumley’s children are all out of school, she now has two grandchildren who will be heading there soon.

But the recent outbreak of measles throughout the United States has her worried.

"They’re not old enough to go to school, but what’s things going to be like when they are ready to go to school? That's a scary thought,” Plumley said.

On Friday, the Ohio Department of Health announced the state's first confirmed measles case since 2017 in Stark County.
The young adult who was infected had recently traveled to a state with an outbreak.

Angela Doyle with the Lawrence County Health Department says many of the outbreaks in the states started with an international trip.

"CDC has linked all the cases back to people who have traveled out of the country into countries where they have measles outbreaks, and they're bringing it back into the states,” she said.

The virus can bring on symptoms like a rash, high fever, diarrhea and cough.

It's also highly contagious. The virus can live in the air where a person coughed or sneezed for up to two hours. It can spread when someone breathes in that air or touches an infected surface and then touches their face.

The only thing you can to do prevent the virus is to get your shots.

"I can’t say it enough, vaccination,” Doyle said.

This is a message Plumley hopes everyone hears.

"To protect your children and future generations, otherwise it's going to be a big break-out,” she said.

There have been two confirmed measles cases in Kentucky in 2019, but so far there has been no confirmed cases in West Virginia.