Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press
Published 10:00 a.m. ET July 19, 2019 | Updated 5:46 p.m. ET July 19, 2019
With this year’s U.S. measles epidemic now surpassing a 25-year-old record, experts say it’s not clear when the wave of illnesses will subside and are calling on parents of unvaccinated children to get their kids vaccinated against the disease. (June 3)
A case of measles has been confirmed in the city of Detroit, with health officials urging the public once again to make sure they are vaccinated against the highly infectious disease that has affected 44 people in Michigan this year.
The latest case involves a Detroit male who recently returned from overseas travel and was treated at Children’s Hospital of Michigan emergency room from 12:30-9:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Detroit Health Department.
Officials warn that visitors at Children’s Hospital emergency room may have been exposed and urge anyone who may have been exposed to get vaccinated right away.
The infected individual also went to his doctor’s office in Macomb County, though health officials said that other patients at that physician’s office who may have been exposed have been notified.
“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,” acting Medical Director of the Detroit Health Department Ruta Sharangpani said in a statement. “In general, the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from this disease.”
Vaccination is recommended within three days of exposure, or Immune-globulin — an injectable medicine — within six days of exposure by Monday.
Anyone who was at Children’s Hospital of Michigan should watch for symptoms of measles for 21 days through Aug. 6. Measles is a highly infectious respiratory illness that is spread through coughing or sneezing.
Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. They usually start 7-14 days after exposure and last for 3 to 5 days before a rash appears. The rash, starts on the face and progresses down the body, arms and legs. It lasts 4-7 days.
The disease can lead to pneumonia or inflammation of the brain. Health officials warn that 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.
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to measles involving this latest incident, call the Detroit Health Department Immunizations Clinic at 313-876-4667 to determine if there’s a risk and whether additional treatment is needed.
To date, Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed 44 total measles cases since March. The outbreak, which began in mid-March, involves 40 cases in Oakland County, one in Wayne County and one in the city of Detroit.
The Detroit Health Department also encourages residents to contact their primary care provider or one of the following clinics:
- Detroit Health Department Immunizations Clinic 313-876-4667
- Mt. Clemens Health Center, 586-469-5372
- Southwest Health Center, Warren, 586-465-8537
- Southeast Family Resource Center, St. Clair Shores, 586-466-6800
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