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Ohio measles cases increase 25 percent in one day

As of May 20, Ohio has seen 111 measles cases in 2014. The Ohio Department of Health posted that case count online this afternoon and it is 25 percent higher than yesterday's total of 89. Six patients have required hospitalization.

 A bottle of measles vaccination is seen at Miami Children's Hospital on May 16, 2014 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

WMFD is reporting that Richland County, OH, and the city of Mansfield, have as many as 16 additional suspected cases of measles. The viral respiratory illness is highly contagious. It has been spreading throughout Ohio since the beginning of April when travelers returning from the Philippines brought the illness with them.

After an outbreak in southern California early in 2014 that stopped at 59 cases, measles has also returned to California. Humboldt County is reporting a case of measles in a traveler returning from overseas. The Contra Costa Times reported on May 20 that the man was picked up at the airport by his family and driven directly home. He went to the hospital the following day. The Humboldt County Department of Health believes that there were no exposures in the county other than the patient's family and hospital personnel.

Using both public health data and media reports, 256 cases of measles have been reported in the United States in 2014. The latest national count from the Centers for Disease Control is from May 16, when they reported 216 cases. Asked about their data, Jason McDonald of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases had this to say in a May 20 e-mail:

We no longer provide the breakdown of measles cases by state. Our numbers are usually behind what the states report publicly and that causes confusion. We collect the information and report it in our MMWR. You will have to ask the states their total number of cases as their numbers would be most current.

Three measles outbreaks account for the majority of measles cases this year. The Ohio outbreak is the largest. The southern California outbreak ended with 59 cases. A measles outbreak in New York City in early 2014 ended with 26 cases. All three have been linked to travelers returning to the U.S. from areas overseas where measles is epidemic.

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