As summer camps, fairs, vacations and family picnics take you and your family away to many fun-filled places during the warm weather months, now is a good time to get vaccinated.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) reminds Ohioans that immunizations are the most effective way to prevent illness from vaccine-preventable diseases. The ongoing measles and mumps outbreaks in Ohio also serve as a reminder to all Ohioans that they should be up-to-date on immunizations.
“Activities that bring large groups of people together can accelerate the spread of these diseases,” said ODH State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary DiOrio. “When coming into close contact with sick individuals, immunizations can provide the protection you need to keep from getting ill.”
Given the ongoing measles and mumps outbreaks, ODH recommends that Ohioans become familiar with the signs and symptoms of the diseases. Symptoms for measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, sore throat and a red rash appearing three to five days after the start of the symptoms. Symptoms of mumps include runny nose, cough and swelling of the salivary glands.
When individuals are fully vaccinated, the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is 97 percent effective in preventing the measles and 88 percent effective in preventing the mumps. Those who are not up-to-date on their immunizations should contact their healthcare provider or local health department and receive the MMR vaccine if there is no medical reason not to do so.
ODH and its local public health partners support the vaccine recommendations set forth by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and CDC. These recommendations include vaccination schedules for when individuals (children and adults) should receive their vaccinations.
Whether your summer plans include sending the kids to camp or traveling in or out of the country, be aware that immunizations may be required to protect you and your children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
For more information about measles, mumps and other vaccine-preventable diseases, visit the ODH website at www.odh.ohio.gov.