First case of measles for 2018 reported in southeast Michigan


ANN ARBOR, MI – The first case of measles reported in 2018 in Michigan has been identified in a person in Washtenaw County.

According to a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services, an individual returned from traveling abroad March 6 and was contagious upon entering Michigan. They have been since hospitalized and are in recovery, the statement said.

Health officials are asking anyone who was in either the customs or baggage claim areas at Detroit Metropolitan Airport between 2 and 5 p.m. March 6 to seek medical attention if they develop measles-like symptoms.

Those symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Red eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Extreme sensitivity to light
  • Red, raised body rash starting on the head and face that spreads

Measles is a respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis and death.

Individuals have an incubation period for 10 to 12 days before exhibiting symptoms, the health department’s statement said, which increases the potential of exposure.

“This case underscores the importance of following vaccine recommendations and being up-to-date on vaccines,” said Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive, in the statement. “Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. If you have questions about a child’s vaccination status or your own vaccination history, talk to your doctor right away to ensure your family has optimal protection.”

Measles can be prevented through vaccination, and measles vaccines are recommended for people who travel internationally, including children as young as six months.

In 2017, 118 cases were reported in the United States. Two cases were reported in Michigan that same year.

“Successful prevention and control of measles requires high levels of immunity in all communities,” the statement said, noting a majority of people who contract measles are not vaccinated.

For more information on vaccinations, visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website.

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