Michigan Sees Largest Measles Outbreak Since 1991
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed five additional measles cases, bringing the state total to 39 for this year.
The newly confirmed cases were all in Oakland County, bringing the case count to 38 in Oakland County and one in Wayne County.
Infected individuals range in age from 8 months to 63.
In response to the latest confirmed cases, the Oakland County Health Division hosted a special measles vaccination clinic on Saturday in Southfield.
Oakland County has known exposure sites listed online and more may be identified as further information becomes available.
This is the highest number of measles in the state since 1991 when 65 cases were reported.
Additionally, the Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed a case of measles unrelated to the Michigan outbreak in its state with exposure locations in Sturgis, Michigan.
Individuals who visited the Holy Angels Catholic Church on Nottawa St., San Miguel Grocery on Jacob St. or Walmart Supercenter on Centerville Road on March 31st may have been exposed to measles and urged to watch out for signs of the disease.
Individuals who were possibly exposed are advised to watch for symptoms 21 days after exposure. Initial symptoms include high fever, cough, and runny nose. Additionally, tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums, and roof of the mouth can occur two to three days after initial symptoms begin. Within three to five days a red rash that is raised and blotchy will usually start on the face, spread to chest, arms, and legs.
If symptoms develop, it is crucial to call ahead to the healthcare provider so they can take precautions to prevent exposure in other individuals.
Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact, and through the air by a contagious person sneezing or coughing. The virus can live for up to two hours in the air where the infected person coughed or sneezed.
The MMR vaccine is effective within 72 hours of exposure and treatment is effective within 6 days of exposure for high-risk individuals. High-risk individuals include pregnant women, those who are immune-compromised, or individuals born before 1958. A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, almost 100 percent are immune.
In 2018, Michigan had 19 cases of measles which was the most reported in the state since 1994. From 2001 to 2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60.
So far this year, there have been 387 cases of measles confirmed in 15 states.