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Michigan health dept. confirms first case of measles since 2019

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BY: KYLE DAVIDSON

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on Friday confirmed a case of measles in an Oakland County child, the first in the state since 2019.

According to DHHS, the case was associated with international travel. The department recommends that unvaccinated individuals ages one and older receive a measles vaccination to protect themselves and others around them. 

DHHS is working closely with Oakland County Health Division on the case, and does not believe there were any additional exposures outside of the child’s household, based on when symptoms began. 

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact and through the air. It is preventable by vaccine. 

Symptoms of the disease usually develop seven to 14 days after exposure but can appear up to 21 days after being exposed. Symptoms include high fever; cough; runny nose; red, watery eyes; tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums and roof of mouth two to three days after symptoms begin and a blotchy, raised red rash that usually begins on the face and spreads to the trunk, arms and legs three to five days after symptoms begin. 

If symptoms do develop, the department advises against visiting the doctor or the emergency room without calling ahead, so the facilities can take measures to prevent other individuals from being exposed. 

According to DHHS, 90% of unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to measles will develop the disease, while one in five individuals infected with the disease will be hospitalized. 

Outside of Michigan, 35 cases have been reported in 15 other states since the beginning of the year.

With the risk for community spread, DHHS advised parents to ensure their children are up to date on their childhood immunizations, including the measles vaccine.

The two-dose measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is highly effective and safe, with a single dose being 93% effective at preventing measles and two doses being 97% effective, according to DHHS. The vaccine is also effective at preventing illness if used within 72 hours of exposure to measles. 

Michiganders can contact their health care provider or visit their local health department to inquire about how to obtain the vaccine and schedule an appointment. Children under the age of 18 who are Medicaid-eligible, uninsured, underinsured or who have American Indian or Alaska Native heritage may receive the vaccine for no cost from a provider enrolled in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Vaccines For Children program

This article is republished from the Michigan Advance under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.