DETROIT (WWJ) – State health officials are reporting the first case of measles in Michigan this year.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday it has confirmed a case in Washtenaw County. The person — who was hospitalized, and is currently recovering — returned to Michigan from travel abroad early this month, and was contagious upon arrival Detroit Metro Airport in Romulus.

“We are alerting anybody who may have been in the North Terminal between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on March 6, customs and baggage particularly,” said MDHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin. “Pay attention for symptoms of the measles and to seek medical attention if they do develop symptoms.”

Symptoms of measles can include high fever, cough, runny nose, sensitivity to light, and a rash.

Doctors stress that people can protect themselves from this highly contagious illness by getting vaccinated. Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS Chief Medical Executive, says the measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe.

“Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles,” said Wells. “If you have questions about a child’s vaccination status or your own vaccination history, talk to your doctor right away to ensure your family has optimal protection.”

From 2001 – 2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. But in recent years there have been more, which is of great concern to public health authorities. In 2017, there were 118 cases in the U.S. including two cases in Michigan; the majority of people who got measles were not vaccinated.

For more information about immunizations, visit IVaccinate.org.

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