Health officials warn of exposure to measles in Ann Arbor

Measles vaccine said to be 90% effective but you have to have had the shots

MI health officials have confirmed a second case of measles in the state, and Washtenaw County leaders are warning resident about possible exposure to the illness in Ann Arbor.

"This is the second case of measles in MI this year", said Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, medical director for WCPH.

According to MDHHS, the case is an adult who was exposed to the state's first case of the year in March. "The two individuals, who are not members of the same family or otherwise related, were both passengers on the same flight when the first individual was contagious". The following symptoms involve a red, raised body rash that starts on the head and face but can make its way to the rest of the body.

It is believed that measles is caused by tourists from other nations, who carry the measles infection.

Measles is a viral infection deemed highly contagious.

"The measles vaccine is effective and safe", said Dr. Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health.

Health officials say the cases underscore the need for vaccinations against the respiratory disease.

"Measles can spread easily among unvaccinated people, and we're working with the Somali community in the Twin Cities to alert people to the outbreak", Ehresmann said in the news release. Untreated, it can lead to severe illness that requires hospitalization and even death.

In Michigan, there was one case of measles identified in 2016, one in 2015, and five in 2014.

The MDHHS said measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000, but emerges every year among worldwide travelers, where it remains a common illness.

However, measles cases have been rising as childhood vaccination rates have dipped. Nationally in 2014 there were 667 cases, including five in MI.

The United States has made tremendous progress against measles. "Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the US where groups of people are unvaccinated".

According to the CDC, measles is still widespread in many parts of the world, including countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Pacific.

You can find a fact sheet about measles on the WCPH website, and more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

They add that one out of 1,000 children with measles develops encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and that for every 1,000 children with measles, one or two will die from the disease. Doctors advise that the only viable method of prevention is to get vaccinated.