Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Measles infections resurged since the largest outbreak in 1994 as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) counted 288 cases as of May 23.
The number of measles cases also surpassed the 220 cases reported in 2011, which is the highest since sustained outbreaks of the disease were eliminated in 2000, CDC said on Thursday.
Of the 288 cases, 138 were from Ohio, including 100 in Knox County. Seven other states and New York City also have measles cases.
Ohio’s health department said the count in the state is 166 as of Thursday. All those infected were members of the Amish community, said Melanie Amato, public information officer for the state Department of Health.
The outbreaks involved unvaccinated people exposed to travelers coming from the Philippines, where a large measles outbreak began in October 2013, according to Anne Schuchat, director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.
The state has shipped out more than 13,000 doses of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine to deal with the outbreak and more than 8,000 doses have been used, Amato said, according to USA Today.
Amato warned that outbreaks will continue into the summer.
Symptoms of measles infection are fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, sore throat and a red rash that appears after three to five days. The virus is highly contagious and spreads through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing.