Ohio health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed a measles outbreak in the Knox County area of Ohio. To date, the Ohio Department of Health says there are 16 confirmed cases of measles.

Health officials say the initial cases were unvaccinated travelers who returned to Ohio from the Philippines.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. Symptoms usually appear in 7-18 days after exposure. The virus can be transmitted several days before the onset of a the telltale rash associated with measles and up to several days after the rash onset.

"Immunization is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from vaccine-preventable diseases," said Ohio Department of Health Interim Director Lance Himes. "When fully vaccinated, the Measles Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is 99 percent effective in preventing the measles."

Health officials held immunization clinics today (April 25) in Knox County and Holmes County.

The Ashland County-City Health Department has their next scheduled Walk-In Clinic Monday, April 28, 2014 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at 1763 State Route 60.

The CDC also recommends that all travelers be up to date on routine vaccinations while traveling to any destination.

Ohio is already dealing with an outbreak of mumps that has impacted more than 200 people in the state.

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