Jan 23, 2023 - News

Central Ohio's measles outbreak improving, not over

Illustration of a round bandaid in the shape of smiley face on a child's arm

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While it's still too soon to say Central Ohio's measles outbreak is over, the virus's spread significantly slowed in January.

The latest: The most recently reported local case, the 85th of this outbreak, developed a rash on Dec. 24.

What's happening: Columbus Public Health (CPH) officials believe greater awareness of the outbreak and a surge in MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccinations could be contributing to the decline, a spokesperson tells Axios.

  • The health department administered 200 MMR shots last month, nearly double the rate of December clinics in recent years.

What's next: To officially end an outbreak, two virus incubation periods, or 42 days, must pass after the last infected person developed a rash.

  • That would make early February the earliest CPH could declare our local outbreak over — if no other cases are reported.

Flashback: Ohio's last measles outbreak, among the Amish community northeast of Columbus, lasted four months and infected 383 people in 2014.

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