Health officials are trying to learn where a Livingston county woman contracted a case of the measles, a sometimes deadly virus often found in the developing world but one that was considered eliminated from the U.S. by the year 2000.
"Most of our cases are imported cases, but she hadn't done any international travel so she had to have picked it up somewhere in the U.S.," said Dr. Donald Lawrenchuk, medical director for the Livingston County Health Department. "She lives in Livingston County but works in the Ann Arbor area."
The woman never became sick enough to require hospitalization and she is expected to recover, Lawrenchuk said.
The strain she was carrying was identified as rubeola, sometimes known as hard measles. Lawrenchuk said it is one of the more dangerous types, with a fatality rate of 1-2% of patients who contract it. It's also highly contagious, infecting about 95% of unvaccinated people who are exposed to it.
Earlier this year, another Livingston County resident who worked in Ann Arbor was diagnosed with the measles as well, Lawrenchuk said. Health officials have sent a sample of the virus from the most recent patient to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, which can map the genome of the virus to see if it matches the earlier case, he said.
Washtenaw County warned people who had been at:
Ann Arbor State Bank, located at 125 West William St., Ann Arbor, on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day.
The Treasure Mart, located at 529 Detroit St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104, on Sept. 26 and Sept. 27 from noon to 2 p.m. each day
Humane Society of Huron Valley, located at 3100 Cherry Hill Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, on Sept. 28 and Sept. 29 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. each day.
Karl’s Cabin Restaurant and Bar, located at 6005 Gotfredson Rd, Plymouth MI 48170, on Sept. 28 from 12:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.
Dixboro General Store, 5206 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, on Sept. 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Oakland County health officials put out a warning for anyone, including staffers who was at Lucas Coney Island in South Lyon who were in the restaurant between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.
"We have an obligation to inform the public but it's not like you can never go to these places again," said Susan Cerniglia, spokeswoman for the Washtenaw County Health Department. "This is airborne. You really have to have been in the same place at the same time as the person who is contagious."
Cerniglia said people can be carrying, and spreading, the virus before their own symptoms even begin, so people need to be vigilant if they were in those places at those times.
Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes.
According to the CDC, the measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air near where the infected person coughed or sneezed, infecting others who breath in that air.
Before a vaccine was introduced in 1963, the CDC logged about 500,000 cases annually in the U.S. causing between 400 and 500 deaths. But widespread vaccinations and other measures are credited with effectively eliminating it by 2000. The virus remains active in the developing world and can be brought to the U.S. by travelers.
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