8 measles cases confirmed in Oakland County, health officials say

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
Four more cases of measles were reported March 21, 2019 in Oakland County.

Eight cases of measles have been confirmed in Oakland County, health officials reported Friday, and they worry the disease could spread.

"Within the last 24 hours we confirmed seven additional cases and we do anticipate this could spread," Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the state health department told The Detroit News. 

Three cases that were under investigation this week have been confirmed to be measles, bringing the total to eight cases in Oakland County since March 13, said the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Oakland County Health Division. 

The additional cases follow a travel-related case of measles reported by the health division last week.

“Unvaccinated individuals need to get vaccinated. If you do not have a record of two measles (MMR) vaccines, unsure if you have been vaccinated, or unsure if you have had measles in the past, contact your healthcare provider,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “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."

“March and April are busy months for Spring Break vacations. Get vaccinated before you travel,” said Stafford. “Currently, 15 states have confirmed cases that are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries where large outbreaks are occurring.”

Michigan had a total of 19 cases last year, the highest amount since 1994, said Minicuci. Oakland County has a higher amount of vaccine waiver rates, she said.

In 2015, Michigan’s vaccination waiver policy was enacted requiring parents seeking a nonmedical waiver to first discuss with a local health department the risks of not receiving vaccines and the benefits of vaccination to their child and community. Parents previously could get a philosophical or religious waiver without meeting with a health official.

The goal, under former Gov. Rick Snyder's administration, was to ensure more children were immunized in a state with the country’s fourth-highest percentage of kindergartners exempted from at least one vaccine in 2015. 

"When we made the change to require parents to be informed before they opt out, we did see a decrease in outbreaks and numbers stayed lower prior to 2015," Minicuci said. "However, we still have people who, like many around the country, refuse to vaccinate and should be aware of the risks."

Possible exposure and where to seek health care

The Oakland County health division said exposure may have occurred at the following locations:

March 14-19 at:

•Congregation B’Nai Israel, 15400 W. 10 Mile Rd., Oak Park

•Ahavas Olam, 15620 W 10 Mile Rd., Southfield

•Yeshiva Gedolah of Greater Detroit, 24600 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park

•Kollel Institute of Greater Detroit, 15230 Lincoln St., Oak Park

March 15-18 at:

•One Stop Kosher Food Market, 25155 Greenfield Rd., Southfield

March 15 at: 

•Young Israel of Oak Park, 15140 W. 10 Mile Rd., Oak Park, after 1–6 p.m.

•Kroger, 23675 Greenfield Rd., Southfield, 12–3 p.m.

•Beaumont Medical Building, 1st Floor: 3535 W. 13 Mile Road., Royal Oak, 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

•SKLD Bloomfield Hills: 2975 N. Adams Road., Bloomfield Hills, noon – 3 p.m.

•Westborn Market: 27659 Woodward Ave., Berkley, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m.

•Jax Kar Wash: 27054 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak, 1 – 4:00 PM

March 16 at:

•Huntington Woods Minyan, 14130 Balfour St., Oak Park, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

March 17 at:

•Yeshivas Darchei Torah School, 21550 W. 12 Mile Rd., Southfield, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

•Beth Tefilo: 24225 Greenfield Road, Southfield, 8–11 a.m.

•Lowe’s Home Improvement: 28650 Telegraph Road, Southfield, 12:20–3:30 p.m.

•Lowe’s Home Improvement: 434 W. East 12 Mile Road, Madison Heights, 3–7 p.m.

•Home Depot: 660 W. 12 Mile Road, Madison Heights, 4:30–7 p.m.

March 18 at:

•Kroger, 19853 W. 12 Mile Rd., Southfield, 8–11 p.m.

•Berkley Medical Center, 1695 W. 12 Mile Rd., Berkley, 11:15 a.m. to 3 p.m.

•Meijer, 28800 Telegraph Rd., Southfield, 1– 4:30 p.m.

•Yeshivas Darchei Torah School, 21550 W. 12 Mile Rd., Southfield, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

•Oakland County Circuit Court Building: 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac, 1:30–5 p.m.

•ABC Warehouse: 24725 Southfield Road, Southfield, 3:30–7 p.m.

•Universal Plumbing Supply: 14511 W. 11 Mile Road, Southfield, 4:40–7:30 p.m.

March 19 at:

•The building at 211 W. Fort St., Detroit, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. This building includes Detroit Economic Club, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Passport Office, and more.

March 20 at:

•Brede Inc., 19000 Glendale Ave., Detroit, 12–7:30 p.m.

•Rite Aid: 24850 Greenfield Rd, Oak Park, after 3:30 p.m.

•Beaumont Medical Building, 1st Floor: 3535 W. 13 Mile Rd., Royal Oak, after 3 p.m.

•Providence Park Novi Medical Building: 26850 Providence Parkway, Novi, after 1 p.m.

Unvaccinated individuals will need to be vaccinated, the health division said, and the vaccine is effective within 72 hours of exposure. The measles vaccine is available through Oakland County Health Division offices in Southfield and Pontiac, health-care providers and many pharmacies.

The county health offices are located at  North Oakland Health Center, 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac; and South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield.

The health division will host a measles vaccination clinic at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, at the South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Rd., Southfield.

Oakland County Health Division’s Nurse on Call phone line will be open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Call (800) 848-5533 or email noc@oakgov.com.

Symptoms can occur within 21 days after exposure and include a high fever; cough; runny nose; red, watery eyes; tiny, white spots on the inner cheek, gums and roof of the mouths two to three days after symptoms begin;, and a red, raised, blotchy rash that "usually starts on face, spreads to trunk, arms and legs three to five days after symptoms begin."

For information, go to www.oakgov.com/health.