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Child tested negative for measles

HEA-measles-infographic-web

The Kent County Health Department reported last Friday that an infant in Kent was being tested measles. The Michigan Department of Community Health reported Monday, February 23, that preliminary test results were negative for the disease. A child was also tested in Allegan County, and that also came back negative.

The KCHD reported that clinical information received from the treating physicians, for the Kent County child, was consistent with a rash illness, but not fully consistent with measles. Parents self-isolated the child based on CDC recommendations as a precaution.

“There are inconsistencies in the child’s symptoms compared to the case definition of measles. Still, this situation should remind all of us that community-based vaccination programs provide important protection for babies that are too young to receive the vaccine themselves,” said Adam London, Administrative Health Officer of the Kent County Health Department.

“All residents should make sure they are up-to-date on their MMR (Measles–Mumps–Rubella) vaccines and boosters. Contact your health care provider if you have questions/concerns.”

Measles was confirmed in an Oakland County adult late January, which may have been related to a recent Disneyland outbreak in California. “As we are seeing with the recent outbreak in California, measles is a highly communicable disease that can affect both children and adults,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “The best way to protect our families and communities against measles is to get vaccinated.”

Measles is a vaccine-preventable respiratory infection that can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. Measles starts with fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat. It’s followed by a rash that spreads over the body. Measles virus is highly contagious virus and spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Because measles is highly communicable, vaccination is the best line of defense, and successful prevention and control requires high levels of immunity in all communities.

Last year, there were a total of five measles cases in Michigan. From 2001–2012, the average number of measles cases reported nationally per year was about 60. According to the CDC, last year there were 644 cases in the United States, and the vast majority of cases were among persons who had no history of vaccination against measles. Between January 1 and February 20, 2015, there have been 154 cases reported in 17 states and Washington DC.

The measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe. Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get at least one dose of the vaccine. The first of two routine childhood measles vaccine doses is given at 12 months of age. For international travel, infants as young as 6 months should be vaccinated against measles. The vaccination, or documentation of immunity to measles, is recommended for all persons travelling internationally.

For more info, visit www.cdc.gov.

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