Michigan measles cases reduced to 39

MICHIGAN (WTOL) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) says the statewide count of measles cases has been reduced to 39 after additional testing of two of the cases found they were not positive for measles.

MDHHS says a child in Washtenaw County has been potentially exposed to measles and that child, along with a child in Oakland County, had both been recently vaccinated.

Their initial symptoms and test results classified them as positive for measles, but additional testing per CDC protocol showed they were not measles cases.

The department says The MMR vaccine contains a weakened live virus that cannot cause measles but can result in positive lab tests. If your child has had the vaccine, it has the potential to cause a mild rash and fever. The department says this is a reaction to the vaccine and not the measles.

The health department says the other 39 cases were confirmed to be measles. The health department says this is the highest number of measles cases in the state since 1991 when 65 cases were reported.

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

Symptoms of measles usually begin one to two weeks 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.

Measles are preventable by vaccine.

The health department says the measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12-15 months of age. A second vaccine dose is given before the start of kindergarten, between ages 4 and 6 years.

MDHHS follows CDC guidance and does not recommend routine measles vaccinations for children less than 12 months of age unless there is a suspected measles exposure; there is thought to be an imminent measles exposure such as being in areas of known measles; or international travel planned.

Immune globulin is also offered as post-exposure protection from the measles. IG is safe and well-tolerated and provides effective short-term protection to recipients by giving them antibodies needed to fight off measles. This protection goes away after a few months, so recipients are urged to follow standard vaccination schedules.

These previously identified sites are no longer considered exposure locations at this time:

  • Jewish Community Center of Ann Arbor
  • Olive Garden restaurant in Ann Arbor
  • Liberty Athletic Club in Ann Arbor
  • Beaumont Royal Oak Emergency Department
  • Green Garden Child Development Center