Published: Sun, April 16, 2017
Health | By Constance Griffith

Health officials: MI traveler contracted measles on flight

State health officials have confirmed a second case of measles in MI, and local officials are warning the public that people may have been exposed to the disease at two Ann Arbor restaurants recently. It said the two individuals are not related but both were passengers on the same flight while the first individual was contagious.

It advises anyone who was at Mark's Midtown Coney Island between noon and 3 p.m. April 6 or at Benny's Family Dining during the same hours on April 7 should monitor themselves for a rash with fever or other symptoms consistent with measles for 21 days. If you suspect measles, seek medical treatment as soon as possible.

The health department notes this is not a matter of food safety or restaurant sanitation.

Health officials are still investigating how the children became infected.

Michigan's second measles victim of 2017 caught the disease from the first.

"This outbreak is about unvaccinated children, not specific communities", said Minnesota Health Commissioner Dr. Ed Ehlinger, according to StarTribune.

Measles is a viral infection that can result in pneumonia, brain inflammation or death. Measles can also cause miscarriages or premature delivery in pregnant women.

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Droplets from the nose or mouth, through sneezing, coughing or speaking, spread measles. She says measles has an incubation period of about two weeks and is highly contagious. Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes.

In 2000, measles was declared officially eradicated in the United States, but worldwide travelers exposed in other countries can spark new infections here when they come in contact with someone who doesn't have immunity.

MDHSS said vaccinations are the best way to prevent measles.

Seven of the confirmed cases are Somali Minnesotans. There is still the potential individuals unable to be vaccinated or whose vaccinations may be out of date may be exposed.

The MDHHS said measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000, but emerges every year among global travelers, where it remains a common illness. In 2014, there were 667 cases in the USA including five cases in MI. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons traveling internationally.

There is a vaccine to fight measles, and officials say it's highly effective and safe. "Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine". Vaccination is not necessary if an individual has a prior history of measles illness.

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