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Residents Encouraged to Know Their Measles Vaccination Status

Monday April 1, 2024

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is again urging all residents in Branch, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph counties who are not vaccinated to get the Measles vaccine

With the announcement on Friday by the Jackson County Health Department of the possibility of measles exposure at Henry Ford Allegiance Hospital on March 10th, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is again urging all residents in Branch, Hillsdale, and St. Joseph counties who are not vaccinated to get the vaccine. If they are unsure if they have been vaccinated, you can check your record, or your child’s vaccine record, by contacting your local health department office, or checking online at https://mcir.org.

"Measles is a highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease that is spread by direct person-to-person contact, and through the air. The measles virus can stay in the air, and on surfaces for up to two hours after an infected person leaves the area. Measles is so contagious that ninety percent of unvaccinated people who are exposed to measles will become infected. Infected people can be contagious up to 4 days before the rash appears, which increases the possibility of exposing others without knowing," says Dr. Karen Luparello, Medical Director.

Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-14 days after exposure, but can appear up to 21 days after exposure and may include:

Immunization is the best way to protect residents from the harmful consequences of measles. The measles vaccination program in the United States started in 1963. The vaccine has been extensively researched, and has been effective in eliminating the disease in the United States. Most cases of measles in the United States today, are occurring among individuals with a recent history of international travel.

It is recommended that adults born after 1956, receive at least one dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Children are recommended to receive the first dose of MMR vaccine at 12 months of age with a second vaccine dose given between the ages of 4 and 6. Your child can still be vaccinated even if they missed the vaccine at these milestones.

Children and adults can get vaccinations at any of our offices, their primary care provider, or many local pharmacies. The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency can offer vaccines to qualifying families with children age 18 or younger through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. The Adult Vaccine Program offers certain vaccines to eligible adults age 19 and up. These programs are for individuals who are not insured or whose insurance does not cover immunizations.

To schedule an appointment at Your Local Health Department, and for immunization questions, please give your local office a call.

Branch County Office: 517-279-9561 ext. 100
Hillsdale County Office: 517-437-7395 ext. 336
St. Joseph County Office: 269-273-2161 ext. 208

The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is committed to helping people live healthier by promoting wellness, preventing disease, providing health care, and protecting the environment.

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