Cases of measles and mumps in Ohio appear to be slowing - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Cases of measles and mumps in Ohio appear to be slowing

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COLUMBIANA, Ohio - The number of measles and mumps cases spreading across Ohio has started to slow.  According to the Ohio Department of Health, there hasn't been a case of either virus reported since late July.

"In un-vaccinated populations this could be a recurrent happening," said Dr. Alex Heintzelman with Humility of Mary Health Partners.  "For the general population though, the likelihood to contract measles is very low and mumps a little higher, but unlikely you are going to come in contact with it."

Since January, 472 cases of the mumps have been reported, while 377 cases of the measles have been confirmed.  According to Dr. Heintzelman, the MMR vaccine is the only thing that prevents measles, mumps and rubella from spreading. 

"For measles, it works about 99% of the time.   For mumps, we think it is about 80% to 90% effective and that may be why we are seeing more mumps cases," said Dr. Heintzelman.

Because the measles and the mumps are viruses, there isn't a treatment to make them go away.  Dr. Heintzelman said symptoms from both should subside about a week or two after they appear.

"Measles generally starts with a sore throat, fever, runny nose, red watery eyes and then a few days later progresses to a rash, which tends to start on the face and move down the body," said Dr. Heintzelman.  "Mumps is similar, kind of cold-like symptoms. People often get swelling in their parotid glands, right in front of the ears, can also have complications with inflammation of the testicles or the ovaries in a minority of patients, but usually a fever, cold-like symptoms and swelling of the glands around the face."

Ohio is the only state that doesn't mandate the MMR vaccine for preschools and daycare.  Students attending public elementary and high schools must be vaccinated against the measles and the mumps.

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