Measles outbreak precautions

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While no deaths or hospitalizations are associated with the outbreak to date, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan advises everyone to get vaccinated or be sure you are up to date on your vaccinations to stop the spread of measles.

Southeast Michigan is currently experiencing a measles outbreak with 22 cases confirmed within Oakland and Wayne counties.

While no deaths or hospitalizations are associated with the outbreak to date, the Health Department of Northwest Michigan advises everyone to get vaccinated or be sure you are up to date on your vaccinations to stop the spread of measles.

Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact, and through the air.

The virus can live for up to two hours in the air where the infected person was present.

Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-14 days after exposure, but can appear up to 21 days after exposure and may include:

  • High fever (may spike to over 104˚F)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)
  • Tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums, and roof of the mouth (Koplik Spots) 2-3 days after symptoms begin
  • A rash that is red, raised, blotchy; usually starts on face, spreads to trunk, arms, and legs 3-5 days after symptoms begin

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe.

A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, almost 100 percent are immune.

You cannot get measles from the vaccine.

If you are exposed to measles, the vaccine may still prevent illness if you are vaccinated within 72 hours of exposure.

In addition, immune globulin (Ig) treatment is effective within six days of exposure for high-risk individuals.

If you may have been exposed to measles, talk to your healthcare provider to determine what may be right for you.

High-risk individuals include those who are unvaccinated or unsure about vaccination status, pregnant women and those who are immune-compromised (have a weakened immune system due to illness and diseases like HIV, malnutrition and/or medications).

For more information and to schedule an appointment for vaccinations, contact your medical provider or the health department at (800) 432-4121. For more information about the Southeast Michigan outbreak, visitMichigan.gov/MeaslesOutbreak.

The mission of the Health Department of Northwest Michigan is to serve our entire community and to achieve health equity by promoting well-being, preventing disease, and protecting the environment through partnerships, innovation, and excellence in public health practice.

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