Vaccinated father from Oak Park among residents to contract measles

Avi Cohen tests positive for measles despite having 2 vaccines

OAK PARK, Mich. – An Oakland County family affected by the measles outbreak is spreading a message it wants everyone to hear.

The family members were vaccinated against measles, but the father, Avi Cohen, 23, is one of the 22 people confirmed to have measles.

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Cohen received both of his MMR vaccines as a child on schedule. Local 4 spoke with his wife, Debbie, on the phone.

"I first got a little bit alarmed because someone who was confirmed had been around my son," Debbie Moskowitz said. "I took him to the doctor. I didn't go inside. I called them before and they came out to my car to swab him."

Her 2-year-old son tested negative for measles, but her husband began to develop a cough and runny nose.

"We had no idea it was measles," Moskowitz said. "It seemed like flu symptoms or something like that. But then the headache came. I got really scared and took him to the emergency room in Beaumont Hospital."

The discharge papers from Beaumont Hospital said Avi Cohen had an upper respiratory infection. But it was later confirmed he had measles.

"My husband called me (Friday) and said, 'I have a rash all over my body,'" Moskowitz said. "I was especially scared for my baby who has obviously not been vaccinated because he's too young to be vaccinated."

She said she doesn't know where her husband was exposed. The couple said they don't blame anyone.

"My husband did get an extremely severe case, and I would never want to wish that on my worst enemy," Moskowitz said. "He felt like his body was literally being burned, just burned alive."

She said her religious community encourages vaccination.

"For the most part everybody does vaccinate," Moskowitz said. "Schools endorse vaccination. Synagogues endorse vaccination. There are a select few that don't vaccinate, like in any other community.

"The vaccine is effective for most people, which is why it's not spreading to everybody."

She urges everyone to be on guard for symptoms and consider limiting visits to public places.

"My husband does prove that even though you do have two vaccines, there is a chance that you can get it," Moskowitz said.

Cohen is doing much better, and everyone else in the family tested negative.

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