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16 cases of measles confirmed among Ohio Amish

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sixteen cases of measles have been confirmed among Amish in the Knox County area of north-central Ohio.

The Department of Health says the outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory disease began with unvaccinated travelers who returned to Ohio after visiting the Philippines. A recent measles epidemic there has caused at least 20,000 illnesses.

Local agencies offered two free vaccination clinics Friday in Knox County and neighboring Holmes County in an effort to limit the outbreak. A Department of Health spokeswoman says it appeared the clinics were "well-attended."

Measles symptoms appear one to three weeks after a person is exposed to the virus. Symptoms include fevers, coughs, rashes and pink eye.

U.S. measles outbreaks so far have caused more illnesses than at the same point of any year since 1996.

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