Mumps outbreak at nearly 300 cases

Columbus -- Public health officials say a mumps outbreak in central Ohio has reached 299 cases. That's about three-quarters of all the reported cases nationwide.

The running total of the cases of the contagious viral illness was reported by Columbus health officials as of April 30, with 179 of those linked to Ohio State University.

The cases date to early January.

Mumps often starts with fever, fatigue and body aches. Those infected are urged to stay home, cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing, and frequently wash their hands.

Heath officials have advised college, school and even day care leaders to make sure central Ohio students are immunized and to separate them from those who haven't been vaccinated and those who are infected.

-- Associated Press

Girl diagnosed with rare diphtheria case

Dayton-- Health officials say a girl in southwest Ohio has been diagnosed with a case of diphtheria -- an illness that has been extremely rare in the US since children started being vaccinated against it in the 1920s.

The Dayton Daily News reports that the adolescent girl was diagnosed after being hospitalized with symptoms similar to strep throat. The girl, who was released from the Dayton hospital earlier this month, may have been fully vaccinated.

The Ohio Department of Health said diphtheria is spread through close contact with discharges from an infected person's nose, throat, eyes or skin lesions. Symptoms include fever, sore throat and fatigue. An infection in the skin could cause a rash.

Fewer than five cases have been reported in the US in past 10 years.

-- Associated Press