With 187 measles cases reported from Jan. 1 to May 9 this year, the United States is on the way to record the most cases of the viral, vaccine-preventable disease since measles elimination was documented in 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Seventeen states have recorded measles cases this year with Ohio reporting 73 cases, or 39 percent of all cases.

The Ohio Department of Health notes that Knox County alone accounts for 45 cases, or one quarter of all cases nationwide. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.

The CDC notes the following facts concerning the 2014 measles situation: The majority of the people who got measles are unvaccinated and that many of the cases in the U.S. in 2014 have been associated with cases brought in from the Philippines, where a large outbreak is ongoing.

Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.

The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles which is reported in up to 20% of people infected include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.