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Hillsdale 517-437-7395

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Measles Cases Increase in Michigan

Friday March 22, 2019

In light of the announcement of four new and three new potential cases of measles in Oakland County, Michigan, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is urging all residents in Branch, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph counties who are not vaccinated, or do not know if they have been vaccinated to prevent measles, to receive the measles vaccine.

Parents are also encouraged to protect their children from other diseases through vaccination and can check on their children’s vaccine status by contacting the local health department office. "Measles is one of the most highly infectious diseases. Anyone who has not had the disease or has not been successfully immunized are susceptible." says Yvonne Atwood, Director of Personal Health and Disease Prevention at the local health department. "Measles can have very serious complications, including secondary infections, blindness, and even death."

Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis and death. The illness begins with a high fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose, and is followed by a red, raised body rash starting on the head and face that then spreads to the rest of the body. Measles patients often experience eye pain and sensitivity to light. Cases can be contagious a few days before the rash appears, which increases the possibility of exposing others without knowing. “Immunizations are the best way to protect our families from the harmful consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles,” says Atwood. The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. Adults born after December 31, 1956, that do not have evidence of immunity, should receive at least one dose of MMR 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.

Children and adults can get vaccinations at any of the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency offices. To schedule an appointment and for immunization questions, please give your local office a call.

Branch County Office: 517-279-9561 ext. 100
Hillsdale County Office: 517-437-7395 ext. 336
St. Joseph County Office: 269-273-2161 ext. 208

BHSJ Measles Information

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is committed to promoting wellness, preventing disease, providing health care, and protecting the environment.