5 more measles cases confirmed totaling 39 in metro Detroit

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In this handout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the skin of a patient after three days of measles infection. (CDC via Getty Images)

LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has confirmed five additional measles cases, bringing the state total to 39 for this year. 

The newly confirmed cases were all in Oakland County, bringing the case count to 38 in Oakland County and one in Wayne County. Infected individuals range in age from 8 months to 63 years.

MDHHS is working closely with the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) to identify possible exposure locations for these latest cases. Known exposure sites in Oakland County are listed at Oakgov.com/health. Additional sites of potential exposures will be identified and listed as more information is learned. There are no public exposure sites for the Wayne County case.

In response to the latest confirmed cases, OCHD is hosting a special measles vaccination clinic open to the public Saturday, April 6, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road in Southfield. No other vaccines will be available at the clinic. OCHD's Nurse on Call phone line will be open 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, to answer questions. Please call 800-848-5533 or email noc@oakgov.com.

In addition, the Indiana State Department of Health has confirmed a case of measles unrelated to the Michigan outbreak in its state with exposure locations in Sturgis, Mich. Individuals who visited these locations March 31 may have been exposed and are urged to watch for signs of measles:

Holy Angels Catholic Church - 402 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091
San Miguel Grocery - 211 Jacob St., Sturgis, MI 49091
Walmart Supercenter - 1500 S. Centerville Road, Sturgis, MI 49091

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. 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 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 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.

For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. Measles vaccine, or other acceptable documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

You cannot get measles from the vaccine. It is effective when given within 72 hours of exposure to prevent illness. In addition, immune globulin (Ig) treatment is effective within six days of exposure for high-risk individuals. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if immune globulin is 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).

This is the highest number of measles in the state since 1991 when 65 cases were reported. So far this year, there have been 387 cases of measles confirmed in 15 states. 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).
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.

If symptoms develop, residents are urged to call their doctor or emergency room before arriving so they can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.

For more information about measles, visit CDC.gov/measles. For more information about Michigan's current measles outbreak, visit Michigan.gov/MeaslesOutbreak.