The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed 15 cases of measles in Michigan for 2018, so far.
This is the highest level seen in the country since 1994 when 26 cases were reported.
Measles is a respiratory infection that can be prevented by a vaccine that can cause hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis and death. The disease has an incubation period of 10 to 21 days and initially shows high fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose, photophobia and is followed by a red body rash that appears on the head and face and continues into the rest of the body. Individuals can be contagious for several days before symptoms appear, which increases the potential to expose others to infection.
"The reported increase in cases of measles encourages the importance of the latest vaccine," Dr. Eden Wells, Chief Medical Executive of MDHHS, in a press release. "Immunization is the best way to protect our families and communities from danger, sometimes deadly due to diseases that can be prevented by vaccines such as measles."
MDHHS recommends vaccination as the best protection against disease. Successful prevention and control of measles requires a high level of immunity in all communities, sometimes referred to as "group immunity."
On October 6, 142 cases of measles were confirmed in the United States with many cases connected with international travel.
MDHHS confirmed two cases of measles in Oakland County in November. Officials said the two cases arrived on a flight at Detroit Metro Airport on October 23.
Adults who do not have evidence of measles immunity should get at least one dose of vaccine. The first of two doses of childhood measles vaccine is given at 12 months of age. The second dose of vaccine is given before the start of kindergarten.
For international travel, babies as young as six months must be vaccinated against measles. The measles vaccine or other acceptable immunity document for measles is recommended for all people traveling abroad.
MDHHS participates in the I Vaccinate campaign, which provides facts that parents need to make decisions about vaccination. For more information about immunization and vaccination campaigns, visit IVaccinate.org.