First case of measles in Michigan this year confirmed, health officials say

Contagious person reportedly arrived at DTW on March 6

DETROIT – A case of measles was confirmed in Michigan and it’s the first case in the state this year.

According to health officials, a contagious person arrived at Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) on March 6. The person went to an urgent care center in Washtenaw County.

The case stems from exposure during international travel.

"The individual returned from travel abroad March 6 at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, and was contagious upon returning to Michigan. Anyone who was in customs or baggage claim in the airport’s north terminal between 2 and 5 p.m. that day should seek medical attention from their primary care provider if they develop symptoms of the disease," reads a statement from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

MDHHS said the person was hospitalized and is recovering. 

Measles is a viral infection that can result in pneumonia, brain inflammation or death.

Signs of measles include a high fever, runny nose, cough and reddened, light-sensitive eyes, followed by a red, raised body rash that starts on the head and face and progresses to the rest of the body.

Measles is highly contagious and can be passed through the air by coughing and sneezing.

Learn more about the measles from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here.

Here is more from the health department, stressing the need to vaccinate to prevent measles: 

Because measles is easily spread, vaccination is the best protection against the disease. Successful prevention and control of measles requires high levels of immunity in all communities. 

From 2001 – 2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. But in recent years there have been more, which is of great concern to public health authorities. In 2017, there were 118 cases in the U.S. including two cases in Michigan; the majority of people who got measles were not vaccinated.

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12 months of age. A second vaccine dose is given before the start of kindergarten. 

For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. Measles vaccine, or other acceptable documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

In an effort to help parents protect their children from serious vaccine-preventable diseases, MDHHS is participating in the I Vaccinate campaign. I Vaccinate provides the facts parents need to make informed decisions about vaccinations. For more information about immunizations and the I Vaccinate campaign, visit

About the Authors:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.