DETROIT – The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has confirmed the state's first measles case of 2015.
The MDCH says an Oakland County adult has been diagnosed with the illness, which may be associated with the recent Disneyland measles outbreak in California, "but an exact connection has not yet been determined."
"As we are seeing with the recent outbreak in California, measles is a highly communicable disease that can affect both children and adults," said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive with the MDCH. "The best way to protect our families and communities against measles is to get vaccinated."
Measles is a highly contagious disease and can be transmitted five days before and four days after the rash appears, according to the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD).
View: Release from OCHD
Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson has authorized OCHD to open their Nurse on Call Hotline and clinic -- at Building 34 East, 1200 N Telegraph Road in Pontiac -- from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday to offer the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, health officials said.
Residents can call or email Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 and firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with any questions.
"We are encouraging anyone who is not vaccinated to consult their doctor immediately and get vaccinated as soon as possible," said Kathy Forzley, OCHD manager/health officer, in a news release. "The vaccine is very effective, but if you have had only one dose of the MMR vaccine, we are also urging you to get the second dose as well."
From the OCHD (PDF): Measles -- what you need to know
Health officials said measles symptoms usually begin 10 to 12 days after exposure and include:
- Hard, dry cough,
- Sneezing or runny nose,
- Watery or red eyes,
- Rash that is red, raised, blotchy, starts on face and spreads to trunk, arms and leg,
- Fever which rises when rash appears (101 degrees fahrenheit or higher).
OCHD said it accepts health insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, Vaccines for Children program, cash and credit. The MMR vaccine costs $56 per dose. VFC offers vaccines at no cost for eligible children, officials said.
Dr. Sanford Vieder is a physician at Lakes Urgent Care in West Bloomfield. He said if you're not sure, your doctor can do a simple blood test.
"We can do what's called a blood tighter and it checks two things called an IGM and an IGG," said Vieder. "We can tell by that if you've either been exposed and whether you've been vaccinated and protected."
Doctors recommend children get two measles vaccines by the age of 7, but of the known people in the outbreak at Disneyland in California, several have already had those two vaccinations.
"There are some people who get the vaccine who don't convert the antibodies necessary to protect themselves. Very, very small percentage," Vieder said. "The greater likelihood is either that individual didn't get the two vaccines required."
Michigan health officials say there were a total of five measles cases in Michigan in 2014. Between 2001 and 2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60.
"Unfortunately I think we will see more cases. I don't think it will be widespread," said Vieder. "I think we will see pockets of activity and that unfortunately is reflected of the fact that that we do have more and more people not vaccinated."
According to the CDC, last year there were 644 cases in the United States, and the vast majority of cases were among persons who had no history of vaccination against measles. There have been more than 50 cases reported nationally so far in 2015. Michigan is the 7th state reporting measles.
"We've all heard about some of the tales of autism developing in children, but really the good news is the science is out and it really has proven that that is not the case," Vieder said.
Read more: 51 measles cases linked to Disneyland
Helpful information: What vaccines do adults need?