A growing number of measles cases throughout Ohio has prompted area health officials to urge residents to protect themselves through vaccination.
The Toledo-Lucas County Health Department strongly recommends individuals remain current with vaccinations amidst the current outbreak.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, 68 cases of measles have been reported in the state, five of which have required hospitalizations. No cases have been reported in Lucas County; however, health officials are urging residents to protect themselves.
The measles virus is highly contagious and spreads very easily from human to human. When people sneeze or cough, droplets spray into the air and viruses spread this way can remain active or contagious for up to two hours.
Infected individuals first show symptoms of fever, runny nose, cough, loss of appetite, and red or watery eyes. They are usually contagious for about four days before a rash sets in four days afterwards. The rash usually lasts 5-6 days and moves from the hairline to the face and upper neck and down the body.
While there is no specific treatment for measles, infected individuals should get plenty of bed rest, fluids, and should control their fever.
To date, more than 11,000 vaccines have been distributed through Ohio to control the current measles outbreak.