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Potential Measles Exposure in St. Joseph County, MI

Monday April 8, 2019

The Branch-Hillsdale-St Joseph Community Health Agency (BHSJCHA) with support from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), is currently investigating the potential exposure to measles in the Sturgis, MI area.

 As reported by the Indiana State Department of Health a confirmed a case of measles unrelated to the Michigan outbreak in its state with exposure locations in Sturgis, Mich. Individuals who visited these locations March 31 may have been exposed and are urged to watch for signs of measles:

• Holy Angels Catholic Church – 402 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, MI 49091
• San Miguel Grocery – 211 Jacob St., Sturgis, MI 49091
• Walmart Supercenter – 1500 S. Centerville Road, Sturgis, MI 49091

High-risk individuals include those who are unvaccinated or unsure about vaccination status, pregnant women and those who are immune-compromised (have a weakened immune system due to illness and diseases like HIV, malnutrition and/or medications). The virus can live for up to two hours in the air where the infected person was present. Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-14 days after exposure, but can appear up to 21 days after exposure and may include:

• High fever (may spike to over 104˚F).
• Cough.
• Runny nose.
• Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis).
• Tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums, and roof of the mouth (Koplik Spots) 2-3 days after symptoms begin.
• A rash that is red, raised, blotchy; usually starts on face, spreads to trunk, arms, and legs 3-5 days after symptoms begin.

If symptoms develop, residents are urged to call their doctor or emergency room before arriving so they can take precautions to prevent exposure to other individuals.

More information about measles is available at CDC.
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More information about Michigan’s current measles outbreak is also available.
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Please do not hesitate to contact BHSJCHA at 517-279-9561 ext. 143 or call MDHHS Communicable Disease Division at 517-335-8165.