2019 Michigan Measles Outbreak
As of April 17, 2019, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed 43 total measles cases statewide since March 13, 2019.
The outbreak, which began in mid-March, has resulted in 40 cases in Oakland County, one in Wayne County and one in the City of Detroit. In addition, an international traveler was diagnosed with measles following a visit to Washtenaw County, during which time he was contagious. Infected individuals range in age from 8 months to 63 years; a majority of the cases involve adults.
Unvaccinated residents, or residents who are unsure of their vaccination status, should get vaccinated. Residents should contact their healthcare provider or local health department to receive the vaccine. If symptoms develop, do not visit your doctor or emergency room unless you call ahead so they can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.
MDHHS is working closely with county health departments to identify possible exposure locations. Known exposure sites to date.
The Oakland County Health Division is offering vaccination at their offices in Southfield and Pontiac on Monday, 8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. For more information, call 800-848-5533. Please note these offices are not testing centers:
- North Oakland Health Center, 1200 North Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
- South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield
The Wayne County Health Department offers walk-in vaccination at 33030 Van Born Road, Wayne on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 – 11 a.m. and 12:30 – 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3:30 – 7 p.m. Call 734-727-7101 for more information.
The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, almost 100 percent are immune. You cannot get measles from the vaccine. It can be effective within 72 hours of exposure to prevent illness.
In addition, immune globulin treatment is effective within six days of exposure for high-risk individuals. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if immune globulin is right for you and if it is available. High-risk individuals include those who are unvaccinated or unsure about vaccination status, pregnant women and those who are immune-compromised (have a weakened immune system due to illness and diseases like HIV, malnutrition and/or medications).
To find your local health department, visit www.malph.org/resources/directory.
Top 5 Things Parents Need to Know about Measles
#1: Measles is highly contagious
Measles spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It is so contagious that if one person has it, 9 out of 10 people around him or her will also become infected if they are not protected. Your child can get measles just by being in a room where a person with measles has been, even up to two hours after that person has left. An infected person can spread measles to others even before knowing he/she has the disease—from four days before developing the measles rash through four days afterward.
Source: STAT News
Before the measles vaccine was introduced in 1963, an estimated 3 to 4 million people got measles each year in the United States. Each year, about 400 to 500 people died from measles and 48,000 were hospitalized in the pre-vaccine era, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
#2: Measles can be serious
Some people think of measles as just a little rash and fever that clears up in a few days, but measles can cause serious health complications, especially in children younger than 5 years of age.
- About 1 in 4 people in the U.S. who get measles will be hospitalized
- Ear infections occur in about one out of every 10 children with measles and can result in permanent hearing loss.
- As many as one out of every 20 children with measles gets pneumonia, the most common cause of death from measles in young children.
- 1 out of every 1,000 people with measles will develop brain swelling, which could lead to brain damage
- 1 or 2 out of 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the best care
- Measles may cause pregnant women to give birth prematurely, or have a low-birth-weight baby.
Some of the more common measles symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
#3: People with measles can spread the disease before they feel sick
Measles symptoms generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected, although it may take as long as 21 days. The person is contagious for about eight days, starting four days before the rash first appears and ending four days after the rash has broken out.
That’s been an issue in the Michigan measles outbreak, where public health officers have a long list of places where measles patients might have contaminated others.
Even if someone who is vaccinated gets measles, experts say those individuals will likely have a milder illness and are less likely to spread the disease to others.
While the vaccine is highly effective, measles presents a danger to babies too young to be vaccinated, as well as to people who can’t be vaccinated because of allergies or compromised auto-immune systems.
#4: You have the power to protect your family against measles
The best protection against measles is the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine provides long-lasting protection against all strains of measles. Your child needs two doses of the MMR vaccine for the best protection:
- The first dose at 12 through 15 months of age
- The second dose 4 through 6 years of age
If you have been exposed to measles and you are not vaccinated, you likely can prevent the disease by getting the vaccine within 72 hours of exposure. Also, gamma globulin shots are available for high-risk individuals who have been exposed and are not immune to the disease. Contact your healthcare provider or local health department to receive the vaccine.
#5: Call ahead to prevent the spread
If you think you or a family member have measles, call before heading to your doctor’s office or an emergency room, so they can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.