Health Department Confirms 2nd Case Of ‘Highly Contagious’ Measles In Michigan

DETROIT (WWJ) – A case of measles is being reported in Michigan — the second confirmed in this state this year.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the case of measles was in an adult, and apparently the direct result of exposure to the state’s first case of the measles this year, confirmed in late March in southeastern Michigan.

The two individuals — who are not members of the same family or related in any way — were both passengers on the same flight when the first individual was contagious, according to Jennifer Eisner with MDHHS.

Eisner says measles is “highly contagious.”

“So, if one person has it, about 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune or who have not been vaccinated will also become infected,” she told WWJ’s Dr. Deanna Lites. “It’s also so contagious that if you are in the same airspace as an individual who has the measles, that virus can live up to two hours in the airspace, so you can contract the disease that way as well.”

Eisner says that’s why routine vaccination for both children and adults is so vitally important.

Both 2017 Michigan patients were hospitalized and are recovering. Everyone on the international flight has been contacted by health officials.

Measles typically will start with a high fever, red eyes, runny nose, sensitivity to light, and eventually rashes on the face and head that progresses to other parts of the body. It can be deadly.

There was one confirmed case last year of measles in Michigan. Nationally in 2014 there were 667 cases, including five in Michigan. A majority of those cases involved people who were not vaccinated.

Those who are unsure about their vaccination status or that of their children are urged to contact their doctor.

To learn more about vaccinations from Michigan health officials, visit IVaccinate.org

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