Michigan health officials are reporting two additional confirmed cases of measles in Michigan for 2018; both related to international travel. These individuals were residents of Oakland and Washtenaw counties.
Neither of these cases are related to the two previous Michigan cases in 2018. However, all four cases were the result of exposure outside of the country, emphasizing the higher risk of measles during international travel and the importance of being protected by vaccination.
One of the ill individuals arrived on July 18 at 11:59 p.m. at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) at the international arrivals area of the North Terminal and did not advise officials of being ill, but was considered contagious at the time. Health officials are in the process of contacting potentially exposed passengers from the flight. Limited exposure to others at DTW may have occurred as this individual exited international baggage claim. The second individual was not contagious during their flight or while at DTW.
Individuals who may have been exposed at DTW should watch for symptoms consistent with measles for 21 days after the possible exposure. If symptoms appear, contact your health care provider promptly. Please direct any questions to your health care provider or your local health department.
Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis and death. The illness begins with a high fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose, and is followed by a red, raised body rash starting on the head and face that then spreads to the rest of the body. Measles patients often experience eye pain and sensitivity to light. Cases can be contagious a few days before the rash appears, which increases the possibility of unknowingly exposing others.
“Measles is easily spread, and these cases emphasize the importance of being up-to-date on all vaccinations for everyone’s protection,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive. “The bottom line is immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”
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