Officials confirm 2nd measles case connected with first, caught from same flight

LANSING, MICH. - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed a second case measles in southeast Michigan. The second case is connected to the first, travel-related case, according to officials.

This particular case is in an adult and a direct result of exposure to the state first case of 2017 in late March. The two individuals are not members of the same family or otherwise related, they were both passengers on the same flight when the first individual was contagious. 

Related: Officials confirm 1st measles case in Michigan this year

According to Jennifer Eisner, Public Information Officer for MDHHS says that the individuals on the flight who were potentially exposed to both confirmed cases have been contacted. Both the first and second case are from southeast Michigan.

“This underscores the importance of routine vaccination for both children and adults, and of making certain as many Michiganders as possible have protective immunity against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for MDHHS. “Measles is highly contagious, and though it is generally a rare disease in the United States -- in fact it was eliminated from the country in 2000 -- it shows up every year as a result of travel to other parts of the world where it continues to be a common illness.”

Measles is a viral infection that can result in pneumonia, brain inflammation, hospitalization and death. The illness starts with a high fever, runny nose, cough and reddened light-sensitive eyes, followed by a red, raised body rash that starts on the head and face until progressing to the rest of the body.

The MDHHS says that someone with measles can be contagious for a few days before they start showing typical symptoms, which increases the possibility of exposing others to the infection. Someone with measles also remains contagious until several days after the rash appears. 

Read more: MDHHS Vaccine Preventable Disease Investigation Guidelines -- Measles

Measles can be spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. The MDHHS says that the best line of defense against measles is vaccination. According to the MDHHS website, the measles vaccine is highly effective and safe. 

The website also states that adults who do not show signs of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine and that for international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons traveling internationally.

For more information about measles and the measles vaccine, visit the MDHHS website. 

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April Stevens is a multi-platform producer at WZZM 13. Have a news tip? Email news@wzzm13.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter.

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