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State health department confirms first measles case in Michigan this year

someone getting a shot
Wikimedia Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease, but the number of cases in the U.S. has risen in recent years.

The state’s Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed Michigan's first case of measles in 2018.

The individual was contagious while flying to the Detroit Metropolitan Airport after a trip abroad on March 6, according to a statement released Wednesday. The patient is now hospitalized and recovering.  

MDHHS advises anyone who might have come into contact with the individual at the airport to seek medical attention if they notice symptoms of measles. 

Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can cause pneumonia and encephalitis. The infection can also be fatal.

“This case underscores the importance of following vaccine recommendations and being up-to-date on vaccines,” Dr. Eden Wells, MDHHS chief medical executive, said in a statement. “Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”

MDHHS reports that from 2001-2012, an average of 60 measles cases were reported each year in the United States. But that number has grown in recent years to the concern of public health officials. In 2017, there were 118 recorded cases in the U.S., two of which were in Michigan. The majority of those cases involved people who did not get the measles vaccine.

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