Measles cases reach 22 in Oakland, Wayne counties

Sarah Rahal
The Detroit News
State health officials have confirmed a case of travel-related measles in Oakland County.

A measles outbreak in southeast Michigan has grown to 22 confirmed cases, with one reported in Wayne County, since March 13, local and state health authorities said Tuesday.

Oakland County has 21 cases and Wayne County has one, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said.

Infected individuals range in age from 11 to 63, officials said.

The state health department is working with the Oakland and Wayne county health officials to identify possible further exposure locations. Known exposure sites in Oakland County are listed at Additional sites of potential exposures, including those in Wayne County, may be identified as more information becomes available, officials said.

Oakland health officials reported eight cases last week. They warned the figure could rise. 

The number of cases surpasses last year's record. Michigan had 19 cases last year, the highest amount since 1994. Oakland County has a higher amount of vaccine waiver rates, Angela Minicuci, spokeswoman for the state health department said Friday.

In 2015, Michigan’s vaccination waiver policy was enacted to require parents seeking a non-medical 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.

From 2001 – 2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. But in recent years there have been far more, which is of great concern to public health authorities. So far this year, there have been 314 cases of measles confirmed in 15 states, state officials said.

Vaccines and clinics

If symptoms develop, residents are urged to not visit their doctor or emergency room unless they have called ahead so they can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.

Health officials are encouraging residents to receive the measles vaccine.

"A single dose of measles vaccine protects about 95 percent of children, but after two doses, almost 100 percent are immune," officials said in a press release. "You cannot get measles from the vaccine. It is effective within 72 hours of exposure to prevent illness. In addition, immune globulin treatment is effective within six days of exposure for high-risk individuals."

The Oakland County Health Division is offering vaccination at their offices in Southfield and Pontiac on Monday, 8:30 a.m.- 6 p.m. and Tuesday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m. For more information, call 800-848-5533.

Please note these offices are not testing centers:

  • North Oakland Health Center, 1200 North Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac
  • South Oakland Health Center, 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield

The Oakland County Health Division is also offering vaccination clinics Wednesday through Friday at Young Israel of Oak Park, 15140 West 10 Mile Road, Oak Park, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Wayne County Health Department offers walk-in vaccination at 33030 Van Born Road, Wayne on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 8 – 11 a.m. and 12:30 – 4 p.m. and on Wednesday, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 3:30 – 7 p.m. Call 734-727-7101 for more information.
Twitter: @SarahRahal_