Metro Airport traveler contracts measles, brings it to Michigan

- A health alert as recent travelers at Metro Airport and people in Ann Arbor could have been exposed to the measles.

Someone who traveled here from another country contracted the disease and now unvaccinated people living here are at risk.

FOX 2 is told the person who brought the infection to Michigan is not from America and is no longer in the country.

Measles is extremely rare here in the states and health officials say that will likely continue to be the case even after this scare.

This latest incident means round two for measles in Michigan. State health officials confirmed the second case of the respiratory infection in 2018.

The person in question arrived at Metro Airport's McNamara Terminal June 12 around 3:45 in the afternoon. 

They were traveling from outside the country and is believed to have been contagious then. Health officials are working to contact passengers who may have been exposed during the flight and the other places were the individual stayed or visited

"Because measles is airborne and it can stay in the air up to a couple of hours after someone who is ill with it has been there, we want to alert both healthcare providers and the public to the possibility of being exposed," said Susan Cerniglia, Washtenaw County Health Department.

The traveler rode a Hertz car rental airport shuttle June 12. The window for that was 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The person also lodged at Staybridge Suites in Ann Arbor until June 16. 

Health officials say the traveler stopped at the nearby Jimmy John's on State Street on June 12th. That window was between 7:30 and 9:30 pm.

Then two days later, that individual checked into Concentra Urgent Care in Ann Arbor -- the window for that stop from 2 to 6 p.m.

"It is highly contagious, can be very serious so we want people who were in these particular areas during that specific time frame to be on alert for any symptoms and seek medical care immediately," said Cerniglia.

People who may have been exposed to measles should be on the lookout for symptoms:  a fever, sore throat and runny nose at the onset.

Then white bumps in the mouth and a raised red rash on the third or fifth day of the illness. The symptoms appear a week or two after exposure and may last just as long. 

Health officials say people with measles are contagious about four days before and after the rash appears.

"When someone is ill with measles you can't really prevent it with a vaccine however if someone is already vaccinated with a recommended two doses, there's not much of a chance of being infected," Cerniglia said.

The first case of measles was discovered in March. The infected person just like in the most recent case, flew into Metro Airport.

And just like this case, March's discovery stemmed from exposure outside of the country.

All of it underscoring, health officials say, the importance of vaccines and seeing your doctor the moment you come down with symptoms.
 

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