Health officials cite 5 new measles cases in Hennepin County

A second case of measles in MI has been confirmed as a Livingston County resident.

Two restaurants are working with the Washtenaw County Public Health to keep employees and customers safe from exposure to measles, a highly contagious disease that has seen a disturbing resurgence in recent years. "The two individuals, who are not members of the same family or otherwise related, were both passengers on the same flight when the first individual was contagious".

The two are not related to each other. That person is still contagious until several days after the rash appears. Officials say measles can result in pneumonia, brain inflammation, hospitalization and death.

Signs of measles include a high fever, runny nose, cough and reddened, light-sensitive eyes, followed by a red, raised body rash that starts on the head and face and progresses to the rest of the body.

Droplets from the nose or mouth, through sneezing, coughing or speaking, spread measles.

Because measles is highly communicable, vaccination is the best line of defense, and successful prevention and control requires high levels of immunity in all communities, Wells said.

In Michigan, there was one case of measles identified in both 2015 and 2016 and five cases in 2014.

Health officials urged population to get their measles vaccine if they haven't received it yet.

Measles, also known in medical terms as rubeola, is an extremely contagious disease caused by the measles virus.

Health officials say the cases underscore the need for vaccinations against the respiratory disease.

Most people in Minnesota are immune to measles either from having been vaccinated or from having had the disease. "The first dose is routinely given to children after their first birthday". In 2014, 667 people in the US contracted measles, including five people in MI.

The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally, Wells said.

"Measles is still common in many parts of the world, including some countries in Europe, Asia the Pacific and Africa", WCPH notes.

Measles was the fifth vaccine-preventable disease eradicated in the Americas, joining smallpox, polio, rubella and congenital rubella syndrome. Doctors advise that the only viable method of prevention is to get vaccinated.

  • Lila Blake