Measles outbreak: a different sort of March Madness

A traveler from outside the US came to SE Michigan and brought a housewarming gift: measles. Since mid-March the number of cases has grown rapidly as unvaccinated children have come in contact with each other.

The majority of cases are clustered near Oak Park and Southfield but the geography is spreading and families all over metro Detroit are wondering if their children are safe. Here’s what you need to know:

If your child has had their MMR vaccine they are safe and there is no reason to consider re-vaccination at this time unless there has been a known exposure. Children typically get the MMR at 12 months and again at 4 years of age. Even if your child has only had their first vaccine, you are in good shape unless they have been directly exposed.

Oakland County Health Department has a list of the locations and specific times that exposure could have occurred. If you were not at any of these locations AT THESE TIMES you do not need to worry about exposure and no further action is needed unless your child is behind and has not received their MMR vaccine.

Even if you live nearby or occasioned a business near those in question BUT WERE NOT IN THOSE SPECIFIC PLACES you do not need to worry about exposure at this time.

Children between 1 and 4 years of age who have had only one MMR need only come in for a booster early if they have been potentially exposed in one of the locations listed during the timeframes outlined.

All children who are potentially exposed should call the office for guidance if they are under 4 years of age and have not received 2 doses of MMR. We will arrange to meet you in the parking lot to administer the MMR to keep your child safe.

All children who are under 1 year of age and are potentially exposed should be vaccinated now. They will still need vaccination again at 1 and 4 years of age as well.

Remember, if you have not had any potential exposure your child is not at risk and you do not need to do anything different. Of course, if you are at all behind on vaccines this is a great reminder to call the office and schedule a well visit and get caught up!