Washtenaw County Public Health confirms measles in adult resident

From Washtenaw County Public Health


Susan Cerniglia, Communications Manager                                             Washtenaw County Public Health

734-544-6759 or 734-678-7010


Washtenaw County Public Health has confirmed a case of measles in an adult with a recent history of international travel. The individual is receiving medical treatment after being seen at the University of Michigan East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center on Thursday, Oct. 13. The East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center is located at 4260 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor.

As a precaution, individuals who were in the East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center this past Thursday, Oct 13 between approximately 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. are advised to seek vaccination, if not fully vaccinated with two doses of Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Vaccination is not necessary if an individual has a prior history of measles illness. Individuals born before 1957 are assumed to have natural immunity, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Additional Guidance for Individuals Potentially Exposed to Measles

For individuals present at East Ann Arbor Health Center Oct. 13 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.,  please review the following considerations and actions:

Infants Six to 15 Months If your full-term infant is between six and 15 months and has not had the MMR vaccine, your infant may be at increased risk for complications with a measles infection. If the biological mother is not immunized for measles, her infant is at increased risk for getting the measles infection and/or having complications.

What to Do: Contact your infant’s primary health care provider. Your infant may be recommended to be given a special treatment called immunoglobulin. If immunoglobulin is recommended, it will help protect your infant from a measles illness.

Immunocompromised (or Impaired Immune System) Individuals

If you are immunocompromised or taking immune-lowering medications, e.g. infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) or etanercept (Enbrel), you may need treatment with immunoglobulin, even if you are fully vaccinated against measles.

What to Do: Contact your prescribing physician or primary health care provider. If recommended, immunoglobulin should be provided within six days of exposure (by Wed, Oct 19 morning or earlier).

Healthy Individuals Not Fully Vaccinated or Unsure

To provide protection against a specific exposure, the MMR vaccine needs to be given within 72 hours. Although 72 hours have past, vaccination is still recommended for long-term protection against measles. For healthy individuals, no other treatment is recommended after a potential exposure to measles. If you have questions, please contact your primary health care provider.

What to Do: Vaccinate against measles, if you are not fully vaccinated with two doses of MMR or not already immune. Monitor your health carefully and watch for a rash with a fever for 21 days (until Thursday, Nov 3). If you suspect measles, notify your primary care provider and seek immediate medical treatment.

Healthy Individuals who are Immune or Fully Vaccinated against Measles If you are fully immunized with two doses of MMR or already immune and in generally good health, monitor yourself for symptoms (a rash with fever) for 21 days (until Thursday, Nov 3). If you suspect measles, notify your primary care provider and seek immediate medical treatment.

“The MMR vaccination is extremely effective at preventing illness,” says Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, M.D., MPH, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health. “While we urge all eligible persons to vaccinate, it is especially important for anyone who is unimmunized and has potential exposure to this case to vaccinate against measles immediately.”

The measles vaccine is effective and safe. Having 2 doses of MMR vaccine at least 28 days apart is fully protective.  Having only one dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93 percent protective.  Those at highest risk are those who have had no vaccination.  The vaccine is not typically given to children less than 12 months or to individuals with poor immune systems. However, infants as young as 6 months can be vaccinated against measles, if they have been exposed (or for international travel).

The MMR vaccine is available through primary health care providers and at some local pharmacies. Individuals should contact their health care provider for advice. If concerned, individuals who are patients at the East Ann Arbor Health and Geriatrics Center and who were seen on Thursday, Oct 13 may call the main operator at the University of Michigan Health System, 734-936-4000, and a physician will be paged to provide guidance.

Any individual with potential exposure to the identified case on Thursday, Oct 13 should monitor themselves for rash with fever for 21 days, or until Thursday, Nov 3.

If you suspect measles, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.


Measles (rubeola) is an extremely contagious disease caused by the measles virus. Measles can cause complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Measles can also cause miscarriages or premature delivery in pregnant women.


The illness starts with a runny nose, red eyes, cough, fever and sore throat. After 2 to 3 days, tiny white spots may appear in the mouth. A raised, red rash appears on the third to fifth day of illness. The rash typically starts on the face and spreads down the body and out to the arms and legs. The rash usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Symptoms start 7 to 14 days after being exposed to measles, and last 1 to 2 weeks.

How is it spread?

Droplets from the nose or mouth, through sneezing, coughing or speaking, spread measles.

A person with measles is contagious for 4 days before and 4 days after the rash appears.

Measles in Michigan and the United States

In Michigan, there was one case of measles identified in 2015 and five total cases in 2014.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 189 people from 24 states and the District of Columbia were reported to have measles in 2015. In 2014, the U.S. experienced a record number of measles cases, with 667 cases from 27 states reported to CDC; this was the greatest number of cases since measles elimination was documented in the U.S. in 2000.

  • The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated.
  • Measles is still common in many parts of the world including some countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa.
  • Measles can spread when it reaches a community in the U.S. where groups of people are unvaccinated.

Other Sources of Reliable Measles Information

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) https://www.cdc.gov/measles/

Washtenaw County Public Health Fact Sheet: Measles

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