18 August 2015


Original Story: freep.com

Last year, five Michigan residents contracted the measles virus, and one case has been confirmed this year.

By contrast, in 1990, Michigan had 545 measles cases, a spike that coincided with a national outbreak that occurred between 1989 and 1991. There were more than 55,000 measles cases reported in the U.S. over that time. The number of Michigan measles cases has remained at five or lower since 2000, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the measles virus had been eliminated.

Two of last year's measles cases were adults that lived in Grand Traverse County and had just returned from the Philippines. The other cases were an adult and two children who lived in Leelanau County and had been in contact with the adults who had been to the Philippines. None of the individuals was vaccinated, according to public health officials. Visiting nurses in Birmingham provide home care to a variety of individuals.

Statewide, 5.9% of Michigan children entering kindergarten in 2013 had vaccine waivers, the fourth highest rate in the U.S. according to the CDC. Considerable variation in vaccination waiver rates exists by geography. About 1 in 5 Leelanau County children entering kindergarten had a vaccination waiver — the highest rate among Michigan counties. Public health officials note the best way to protect against new outbreaks is to prevent susceptible pockets from developing in local communities and schools.

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