Detroit Evening Report: Health officials urge Michigan residents to get vaccinated amid measles outbreak

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The city of Detroit and state health officials are warning residents to make sure they’ve been vaccinated against the measles after cases have been confirmed in Wayne, Oakland and Washtenaw counties. 

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Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact and through the air. The disease can live in the air for up to two hours, according to the Detroit Health Department, and symptoms can include a cough, high fever and red spots on the body. 

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services reports that the three cases in Michigan are not connected, which illustrates there are multiple places where Michigan residents could be exposed. The virus can be especially dangerous for babies and individuals who are severely immune-suppressed.

“If you are not vaccinated for measles, get vaccinated as quickly as you can,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive for the state of Michigan, in a statement. “We are seeing increased cases of measles abroad and outbreaks of measles across the United States in the setting of declining childhood vaccination rates.

“Now measles is in Michigan, and it’s important to make sure you protect yourself from this vaccine-preventable disease.”

The department says measles is preventable – even if residents get a vaccine up to 72 hours after exposure. Ninety percent of unvaccinated individuals who are exposed to measles will become infected. About one in five people who get measles will be hospitalized.

In addition to Michigan’s three cases, 35 measles cases have been reported in 2024 in 15 other states to date.

Other headlines for Wednesday, March 6, 2024:

  • A new study from The Lancet says Black women in the U.S. are six times more likely to be killed than white women. 
  • Detroiters may save some money on their credit card fees later this year, as the Biden administration announced a plan Tuesday to cap most credit card late fees at $8 per month. 
  • Stellantis on Tuesday unveiled two battery-powered versions of the Dodge Charger, billed as the world’s first electric muscle car.
  • Gas prices are on the rise in metro Detroit, with the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded now at $3.43 per gallon.

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  • Jerome Vaughn
    Jerome Vaughn is News Director at 101.9 WDET. His interest in news reporting began when he was five years old, after his mom bought him a yellow Panasonic ball and chain radio.