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Measles outbreak in Ohio appears to be ending: health officials

By Kim Palmer

CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A massive measles outbreak in Ohio that was behind the largest outbreak of the disease in the United States in two decades appears to be coming to an end, with no new confirmed cases in the state in nearly a month, state officials said on Friday.

"I am cautiously optimistic that the outbreak is nearing the end," said Dr. Mary DiOrio, an epidemiologist at the Ohio Department of Health.

The outbreak that started earlier this year infected 377 Ohioans, ranging in age from six months to 53 years old, DiOrio said. Since the outbreak, more than 8,000 doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine have been administered in the affected areas.

The Centers for Disease Control said there have been nearly 600 cases of measles this year in the United States, with the majority of those infected being unvaccinated.

The Ohio outbreak began in March when unvaccinated travelers returning from the Philippines brought the disease to the largely unvaccinated Amish community in Holmes County, state health officials said.

(Reporting by Kim Palmer; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; editing by Andrew Hay)

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