Health officials: 2 confirmed measles cases in Mich.

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Michigan health officials have confirmed a second case of measles in the state, and Washtenaw County leaders are warning resident about possible exposure to the illness in Ann Arbor.

The state Department of Health and Human Services on Friday said the second confirmed case is an adult and resulted from exposure to Michigan’s first case of the year reported late last month.

“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,” department representatives wrote in a statement.

In 2016, Michigan had a single case of measles, which health officials describe as a highly contagious viral infection that can lead to pneumonia, brain inflammation, hospitalization or death.

“This underscores the importance of routine vaccination for both children and adults, and of making certain as many Michiganders as possible have protective immunity against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for the state health department said. “Measles is highly contagious, and though it is generally a rare disease in the United States — in fact it was eliminated from the country in 2000 — it shows up every year as a result of travel to other parts of the world where it continues to be a common illness.”

Washtenaw County Public Health officials warn that customers at two Ann Arbor restaurants last week could have been exposed to measles since someone infected with the condition dined there while contagious.

Anyone who went to Mark’s Midtown Coney Island, 3586 Plymouth, between noon and 3 p.m. April 6 or Benny’s Family Dining, 1952 S. Industrial, at the same time the next day “should monitor themselves for rash with fever or other symptoms consistent with measles for 21 days,” the department said in a statement. “If you suspect measles, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.”

State health officials say the illness, which spreads through coughing and sneezing, starts with a high fever, runny nose, cough, reddened light-sensitive eyes. Those symptoms are followed by a red, raised body rash starting on the head and face that spreads.

Symptoms can begin seven to 14 days after exposure and last one to two weeks.

To be fully protected from prevention, Washtenaw health officials say that residents should have two doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart.

“The measles vaccine is effective and safe,” said Dr. Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health.

For more information, go to the department website or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.