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A measles epidemic is spreading in a Washington county known to have chosen not to vaccinate its children, and health officials have declared a public health emergency.
USA TODAY

Michigan health officials confirmed that a measles-infected Israeli traveler may have spread the virus while visiting Oakland County from 6 to 13 March.

The traveler, who visited businesses, a religious institution and a synagogue, also traveled to New York, which is in the midst of his worst measles epidemic in recent decades. Measles is also spreading nationally. In all, 228 measles cases in 12 states were reported from the beginning of the year until 7 March, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that is preventable with the vaccine. It spreads when an infected person coughs or sneezes and can stay in the air where a person coughs or sneezes for up to two hours.

Measles is so contagious, up to 90% of people close to an infected person will become infected even if they are not immune to vaccination or previous measles infection, according to the CDC. A person who has measles can be contagious four days before an eruption appears and will continue to be contagious for four days.

Where did the measles infected person go in Michigan?

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Oakland County Health Division state that people may have been exposed to measles at the following times, dates and locations: [19659009] Lincoln Liquor & Rx, 25901 Coolidge Highway, Oak Park: 12:20 to 14:45 Friday, March 8

  • Jerusalem Pizza, 26025 Greenfield Road in Southfield: 11:30 am to 2:30 pm Tuesday, March 12, Wednesday March 13
  • One Stop Kosher Market, 25155 Greenfield Road in Southfield: daily from 6 to 13 March
  • Ahavas Olam Torah Center, 15620 W. Ten Mile Road, Southfield: daily from 6 to March 13
  • Congregation Yagdil Torah, 17100 W. Ten Mile Road, Southfield: daily March 6 to 13
  • Yeshiva Gedolah of Greater Detroit, 24600 Greenfield Road, Oak Park: all the days from 6 to 13 March
  • Kollel Institute of Greater Detroit, 15230 Lincoln Street in Oak Park: daily 6 to 13 March
  • Health officials say further potential exposure sites could be identified as further details

    What you should do if you might have been exposed to measles?

    For anyone yet to be vaccinated and potentially exposed, health officials say that getting the vaccine within 72 hours of exposure can limit the likelihood of contracting the disease. In addition, your doctor can provide immunoglobulin (Ig) treatment, which is effective within six days of exposure to people at high risk of developing measles.

    At the highest risk are unvaccinated pregnant women and people who have diseases that compromise their immune system such as HIV and diabetes, and people who are taking drugs that weaken their immune systems.

    In this photographic illustration, a bottle containing a measles vaccine was seen at the Miami Children 's Hospital in Miami, Florida. (Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

    Anyone born in 1957 or earlier is considered immune to measles.

    If you think you have been exposed, health officials suggest that you observe the symptoms for 21 days after exposure. If the symptoms develop, it is essential to call in the doctor's office that you intend to visit, so that you can take precautions to prevent others from being exposed to measles.

    What are the symptoms of measles?

    Measles symptoms generally appear 7 to 14 days after a person is infected, but may appear up to 21 days after exposure. According to the CDC, measles infections usually begin with:

    • high fever, which can exceed 104 degrees
    • for cough
    • runny nose
    • red and watery eyes

    About two or three days after respiratory symptoms Small white spots begin to appear, known as Koplik spots, often visible on the gums, on the roof of the mouth and inside the cheeks.

    In addition, a red and red rash will develop which usually begins on the face before spreading into the trunk, arms and legs.

    "Vaccinations are the best way to protect our families and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, particularly in light of recent national and global outbreaks," said Dr. Russell Faust, medical director of the Oakland County Health Division.

    Why health experts support vaccinations

    The World Health Organization has included hesitation to vaccinate, which is the refusal to immunize themselves against vaccine-preventable diseases, among the top 10 threats to the global health in 2019. [19659005] Other: The vaccine debate comes on when the measles epidemic threatens Michigan

    Other: Michigan Hepatitis L & Epidemic A is the worst in the United States What you need to know.

    In Michigan, the public health code requires that children enrolled in public or private schools, licensed day care centers and childhood schools be vaccinated. Kindergarten children should be vaccinated for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, varicella and hepatitis B before starting school. Children entering the seventh year must also be vaccinated for meningococcal disease

    Unless there is a medical reason to exempt children from vaccination, parents who wish to renounce must obtain a waiver from the county health department for enroll their children in school. They can look for waivers that allow them to skip vaccines if they have philosophical or religious objections.

    In Oakland County, about 4.8% of schoolchildren obtained exemption from vaccinations in 2017, the last year for which data on vaccination waivers were available. In some parts of Michigan, as many as 1 in 10 children of school age have received exemptions to exempt from a vaccine imposed by the school.

    This puts them and other unvaccinated Michiganders at risk of contracting life-threatening diseases like measles, whooping cough and mumps, Terri Adams, a registered nurse and a section executive for the Department of Immunization at the Department of Health and Human Services of Michigan told the Free Press for a previous interview.

    "In Michigan, we saw the highest number of measles cases last year than we have in 24 years," said Adams, noting that the state confirmed 19 in the counties of Washtenaw and Oakland in 2018. [19659007] Where can I get the measles vaccine?

    The combined measles, mumps, rubella vaccine is available at the offices of the Oakland County Health Division at 1200 N. Telegraph Road, Building 34 East, Pontiac and 27725 Greenfield Road, Southfield. Many pharmacies and doctors' offices can also provide vaccinations.

    The Oakland County Health Division accepts health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Vaccines for children (VFC), cash and credit. VFC offers vaccines at no cost to eligible children. The vaccine is given in two doses and each dose costs $ 71, and there is an additional fee of $ 7 for each vaccine.

    The health division of Oakland County says no one will be denied vaccinations because they are unable to pay. A discounted / sliding rate is also available.

    Contact Kristen Jordan Shamus: 313-222-5997 or kshamus@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @kristenshamus.

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