Two cases of measles have been reported in Michigan so far this year, reports Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) Sept. 23, 2013. Since mid-August, Michigan is one of 16 states that have reported cases of measles.
The two Michigan cases involved infants younger than 12 months of age. They were both exposed to the disease when they traveled out of the U.S. The infants have recovered; a third is currently being investigated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that most of the 159 cases nationally were directly or indirectly linked to a case or an exposure in another country. 82 percent of these were not vaccinated.
The measles vaccine is safe and highly effective, reports the CDC. It is usually given as a combination MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine at ages 12-23 months. There has been a 99 percent reduction in measles cases in the U.S. since the vaccine. Before the vaccine, 3-4 million people each year in U.S. would be infected and 400-500 would die.
Measles (rubeola) is a caused by a highly contagious virus. It is a respiratory disease that causes runny nose, fever and a rash all over the body. Complications include ear infection, pneumonia and encephalitis.