Measles Cases Reduced To 39 Following Additional Testing

April 12, 2019 - 8:47 am

LANSING (WWJ) - The state Health Department has revised the number of measles cases in Michigan.

Two children who had been recently vaccinated and had symptoms of the measles have now been taken off the statewide count. Health officials say they conducted additional tests on the two children, one from Oakland County and another from Washtenaw County, and determined they were not measles cases.

All totaled there are now 39 cases of measles in Michigan. Most are in Oakland County. Infected individuals range in age from 8 months to 63 years.

Due to the change, several exposure locations have been taken off the list, including:

  • 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

Why the false results? Health officials say the MMR vaccine contains a weakened live virus that cannot cause measles but can result in positive lab tests. The MMR vaccine has the potential to cause a mild rash and fever -- but this is a vaccine reaction, not measles, and the individual is not infectious. 

This is the highest number of measles in the state since 1991 when 65 cases were reported. So far this year in the U.S., there have been 465 cases of measles confirmed in 19 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)
  • 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

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.

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.  

For more information about Michigan’s current measles outbreak, visit