Recent measles case likely connected to previous Montgomery County case

Feb. 21—The recent case of the measles in a Miami County resident is likely connected to the one from earlier this month in Montgomery County, health officials say.

The resident in the most recent case visited a grocery story in Englewood early last week before being diagnosed with the measles. Anyone who visited the Kroger Marketplace at 855 Union Blvd. in Englewood between 12:45 and 4 p.m. Feb. 13 was exposed to measles, health officials said.

"That's the only exposure that we're aware of at this point," said Vicky Knisley-Henry, health educator at Miami County Public Health.

The health department could not speak to age or vaccination status of this case.

This is the second measles case reported in Ohio following the case in Montgomery County announced on Feb. 4 when more than 230 patients at Dayton Children's Hospital were exposed to a measles patient in the emergency department, plus an unknown number of their family members.

The Montgomery County case also was linked to a potential exposure at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., over a weekend in January, according to Ohio Health Department officials. Those include Jan. 27 between 5 and 9 p.m. and Jan. 29 between 8:30 and 11:30 p.m. at Terminal A.

The Feb. 4 case also was the first case of the measles in Montgomery County since 2005, said Dan Suffoletto, public information manager at Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County.

Clermont County Public Health is investigating a potential case of measles, according an announcement from county officials this week. Clermont County Public Health is working with the individual and their health care provider to gather more information.

"We want to be extra cautious and make sure our residents know the signs and symptoms and how to protect themselves from measles," said Julianne Nesbit, health commissioner in Clermont County. "The best thing you can do is to stay up to date on your vaccines and stay home when you're sick."

Local health departments are working to track down and notify contacts of the individual to assess their measles vaccination status and to provide information regarding signs and symptoms of measles and appropriate quarantine measures, if needed.

Young children are more at risk for catching the measles as they may not be fully vaccinated against the measles, Suffoletto said.

"You don't get your first vaccination up until 12 months," Suffoletto said.

Those who are fully vaccinated against the measles, which generally requires two shots of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination. The second shot is usually taken when the child is between 4 and 6 years.

"If you've had two doses, it's up to 97% effective," Suffoletto said.

U.S. and global health officials have warned against resurgences of the measles given the decline in the vaccinations during the pandemic. Compared to 2021, measles cases increased by 18% and deaths increased by 43% globally in 2022.

Those the state requires kids to have the MMR vaccine for school, the Dayton Daily News found a rise of in moral opposition exemptions in local school districts during the pandemic.

For the most recent data available, more than one in 10 Montgomery County kindergartners didn't have all required vaccinations, according to the Ohio Department of Health's vaccination data for the 2022-23 school year.

Approximately 95% of children need to be vaccinated with the two doses of the MMR vaccination to protect against measles outbreaks.

Shelby County had the lowest percentage of kindergartners with all required vaccinations with 77.3%, according to ODH, followed by Montgomery County at 85.3% and Clark County at 86.7%. Butler County reported 87.6% of its kindergartners with all required doses for the 2022-23 school year, ODH said.

The county in this region that got the closest to the 95% threshold among its kindergartners in the 2022-23 school year was Champaign County with 94% having all of their required vaccinations, according to the Ohio Department of Health. Warren County was second highest at 91.6%.

The measles virus is highly contagious in part because it can live for up to two hours in the air where an infected person coughed or sneezed, state health officials say.

Infection often occurs when people breathe contaminated air or touch surfaces with the virus and then touch their eyes, noses or mouths.

Symptoms include high fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite and red, watery eyes.

A rash, which is a trademark symptom of the disease, usually lasts five to six days and begins at the hairline, moves to the face and upper neck and proceeds down the body, state health officials said.

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Who to contact

Community members present at the Englewood Kroger Marketplace during listed time period should contact Public Health — Dayton& Montgomery County to fill out a form at www.phdmc.org/measles-contact. Those without internet access should call 937-225-4508.