Measles Confirmed In Detroit Resident Who Traveled Overseas

July 19, 2019 - 7:33 am

DETROIT (WWJ) - A case of the measles has been confirmed in Detroit. 

The Detroit Health Department said a resident who recently returned from overseas has tested positive for the disease.

Health officials say the person went to Children's Hospital of Michigan in Detroit on Tuesday and then went to their doctor's office in Macomb County.

Everyone who was exposed in Macomb County has been notified, but anyone who was in the Children's Hospital emergency room from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on July 16 may have been exposed. Those people are asked to call the Detroit Health Department Immunizations Clinic at 313-876-4667 to find out if they have a risk of contracting measles.

Anyone who was in the ER department at Children’s Hospital on July 16 should receive post-exposure vaccine by Friday, July 19, 2019. Vaccination is recommended within 3 days of exposure, or Immune-globulin (Ig) (an injectable medication) within six days of exposure by Monday, July 22.

Measles is a highly infectious respiratory illness that is spread through coughing or sneezing by a contagious person. Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes that usually start 7 to 14 days after exposure and last for 3 to 5 days before the rash appears. The rash, starts on the face and progresses down the body, arms and legs, and lasts 4 to 7 days. Anyone who was at Children’s Hospital of Michigan should watch for symptoms of measles for 21 days through August 6, 2019.

"We are encouraging anyone who was at the Emergency Room at Children’s Hospital on the afternoon of July 16 to make sure they have been vaccinated," Dr. Ruta Sharangpani, acting Medical Director of the Detroit Health Department said in a statement. "In general, the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from this disease."

Measles can be serious, leading to pneumonia, or inflammation of the brain. If symptoms develop, do not visit your doctor or emergency room unless you call ahead so they can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.

Having two doses of Measles, Mumps Rubella vaccine is protective. If you are unsure whether you were vaccinated against measles, talk to your doctor. The vaccine is also effective in preventing measles if given within 72 hours. In addition, Immune Globulin (Ig) treatment is effective within 6 days of exposure for high-risk individuals. These 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).

Talk to your preferred healthcare provider to determine if Immune Globulin is right for you and if it is available.

For more information on measles, click here