By Stacy Kess
Two viral outbreaks continued to spread around Ohio Wednesday.
In Delaware County, 33 people are now identified as having probable cases of mumps and one person has been identified with a suspected case of measles.
Numbers reconciled from the Delaware General Health District, Columbus Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health showed 332 cases of mumps have been identified around Ohio in the outbreak across 15 counties, including 274 in Franklin County.
The ODH reported Wednesday six counties are identified a total of 44 cases of measles, 29 of them in Knox County where the first cases were identified in March among a religious group that had traveled to the Philippines.
Measles is considered an eliminated disease in the U.S., meaning it is not a disease native to the country but is still prevalent in some countries, including the Philippines.
DGHD has been following both outbreaks, and has been promoting vaccination with the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR).
”We have had some calls and some people come in,” said DGHD spokesperson Traci Whittaker. “They just mainly want to chat about vaccination and get more information on it.”
DGHD does have vaccines available and are encouraged Delaware County residents to seek vaccination either at the health district clinic or at their doctor’s office, Whittaker said.
Although the single case of measles in Delaware County has not been confirmed by lab testing and is not yet considered part of the measles outbreak, Whittaker said it is important people understand that measles moving into new areas from the original infection in Knox County.
Those who are not vaccinated have the greatest risk of catching measles when in contact with those who are infected.
“I would suggest (people) call the affected counties’ health departments before traveling into those counties, see what the status is and if there is anything they should know,” Whittaker said. “Just be aware that it is spreading around central Ohio.”
Stacy Kess can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @StacyMKess.