Health officials in Washtenaw County, MI have confirmed a measles case in an adult resident with a recent history of international travel. The individual is receiving medical treatment after being seen at the University of Michigan East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center on Thursday, Oct 13. The East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center is located at 4260 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.
As a precaution, individuals who were in the East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center this past Thursday, Oct 13 between approximately 9:00 am and 3:00 pm are advised to seek vaccination, if not fully vaccinated with two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Vaccination is not necessary if an individual has a prior history of measles illness. Individuals born before 1957 are assumed to have natural immunity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The MMR vaccination is extremely effective at preventing illness,” says Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, MD, MPH, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health. “While we urge all eligible persons to vaccinate, it is especially important for anyone who is unimmunized and has potential exposure to this case to vaccinate against measles immediately.”
The measles vaccine is effective and safe. Having two doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart is fully protective. Having only one dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93% protective. Those at highest risk are those who have had no vaccination. The vaccine is not typically given to children less than 12 months or to individuals with poor immune systems. Infants as young as six months old can be vaccinated against measles, if they have been exposed (or for international travel).
The MMR vaccine is available through primary health care providers and at some local pharmacies. Individuals should contact their health care provider for advice. If concerned, individuals who are patients at the East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center and who were seen on Thursday, Oct 13 may call the main operator at the University of Michigan Health System, 734-936-4000, and a physician will be paged to provide guidance.
Any individual with potential exposure to the identified case on Thursday, Oct 13 should monitor themselves for rash with fever for 21 days, or until Thursday, Nov 3.
In Michigan, there was one case of measles identified in 2015 and five total cases in 2014.
Through Sep. 10 this year, the CDC has reported 54 cases nationally.
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.
There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks. However, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Measles can be prevented by immunization.