COLUMBUS, Ohio — What started as a small measles outbreak in the fall of 2022 has now grown to more than 80 cases across the state. 

What You Need To Know

  • There are 82 measles cases across the state of Ohio: 72 of the cases are in Central Ohio 

  • Measles are very contagious and it can show up as a red, itchy rash, watery eyes, fever and coughing

  • A majority of the cases involve children who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated 

  • Columbus Public Health has worked with the CDC to resolve the cases 

There are now 82 cases of measles reported in Ohio, with 72 of those cases in Columbus.

According to Columbus Public Health, 74 of the cases involve unvaccinated children while 4 of the cases are partially vaccinated and 4 have an unknown vaccination status.

Five of the cases are between the age of six and 17, while 18 other cases are between the ages of three and five. Children under the age of one account for 23 of the cases and children between the ages of one and two account for 36 of the cases.

“It is having an impact on the growth and the development of this outbreak," said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

She says children should receive their first dose of the vaccine when they are 12-months-old, and their second dose when they are between the ages of four and six.

Measles, which are very contagious, can cause fever, coughing, watery eyes and a rash of red spots. Roberts attributes this resurgence to misinformation surrounding the safety of MMR vaccine. 

“We see more and more people who are opting out of getting the MMR vaccine,” said Roberts. “There have been reports about the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. Those reports are false. They’ve been debunked. There is no connection between the MMR vaccine and autism.”

The end of an outbreak isn’t declared until 42 days after the last infected person develops a rash. If you are interested in scheduling your child’s MMR vaccine, you can contact your local health care provider or reach out to the Ohio Department of Health.