First measles case of 2017 confirmed in Michigan

Krystle Wagner • Mar 30, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Health officials are encouraging parents to have their children vaccinated against measles.

The first case of measles in Michigan this year was recently confirmed. The individual was exposed while traveling internationally, was hospitalized and is recovering, according to a press release by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

In 2016, Michigan had one confirmed case of measles. In an average year, 60 cases were reported nationwide between 2001 and 2012.

The number of cases reported in the U.S. in 2014 rose to 667, which included five in Michigan. According to the MDHHS, the majority of cases were people who weren’t vaccinated.

The last case of the measles to be reported in Ottawa County was in 1991. There were two that year.

Measles symptoms start with red eyes, fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough. A few days after the initial symptoms, a rash spreads over the person’s entire body, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since measles is contagious and is a “vaccine-preventable disease,” health officials encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. The disease is spread when a person sneezes or coughs.

A child’s first MMR vaccination is given between 12 and 15 months, and the second dose is administered between 4 and 6 years, according to the CDC.

MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Eden Wells encourages parents to speak with their child’s doctor if they have questions about vaccinations.

“Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles,” Wells said.

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