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.
The two individuals are not related, but were both passengers on the same flight when the first individual was contagious.
"So, if one person has it, about 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune or who have not been vaccinated will also become infected", she told WWJ's Dr. Deanna Lites. Officials say measles can result in pneumonia, brain inflammation, hospitalization and death. A red, raised body rash appears on the head and face, eventually progressing to the rest of the body. It is highly contagious and spreads easily by coughing, sneezing or even being in the same room with someone who has measles.
All eight confirmed cases are unvaccinated children between the ages of one and four years old. The average number of measles cases in the US was about 60 per year from 2001 to 2012, according to MDHHS.
"The measles vaccine is effective and safe", said Dr. Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health. But there have been more cases in recent years, which is of great concern to public health authorities. One adult and one child are affected with measles, and it was said that the adult contracted the disease from the child while the two shared an global flight. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons traveling internationally.
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Having two doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart is fully protective, according to WCPH.
Before the invention of the vaccine, measles killed over 2.6 million children worldwide every year. For worldwide travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles.
However, measles cases have been rising as childhood vaccination rates have dipped. In 2014, 667 measles cases were reported in the country, which is highest since 2000.
You can find a fact sheet about measles on the WCPH website, and more information on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
"Personally, I believe people should get vaccinated, especially now when there is so much travel between different countries and continents", Pichineru said.