There is a possibility that two Ann Arbor restaurants have been exposed to measles, according to a Washtenaw County Public Health press release.
The restaurants are Mark’s Midtown Coney Island at 3586 Plymouth Rd. and Benny’s Family Dining at 1952 S. Industrial Hwy. Neither restaurant is close to the University of Michigan campus.
This alert comes after the confirmation of this year’s second case of measles in southeast Michigan. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services press release, both cases occurred in unrelated adults who were passengers on the same flight when the first person was contagious. The first case was diagnosed in late March.
One of the individuals reportedly ate at Mark’s Midtown Coney Island and Benny’s Family Dining on April 6 and 7, respectively. As a safety precaution, Washtenaw County Public Health is recommending that people who ate at either restaurant on those dates monitor themselves for rashes or fevers for the next three weeks.
Washtenaw County Public Health stressed in its press release this warning has nothing to do with restaurant sanitation. However, Jessie Kimbrough Marshall, medical director for Washtenaw County Public Health, strongly recommended everyone get vaccinated against the highly contagious disease.
“This is the second case of measles in Michigan this year,” she said. “This underscores the need for all eligible individuals to vaccinate against measles. The measles vaccine is effective and safe.”
Most children get the vaccine — commonly known as MMR — after their first birthday. Two doses, 28 days apart, is recommended.
In addition to the two cases this year, Michigan saw one case in 2015 and another in 2016. Five cases appeared in 2014. The press release noted that measles has been appearing much more frequently in the United States in recent years.
“From 2001 – 2012, the average number of measles cases in the Unites States per year was about 60,” Washtenaw County Public Health notes. “But there have been more cases in recent years, which is of great concern to public health authorities. In 2014, there were 667 cases in the U.S., including five cases in Michigan.”
According to the 2015 National Immunization Survey, Michigan ranks 43rd out of the 50 states in immunization levels for children ages 19 to 35 months.
Measles symptoms start with a runny nose, red eyes, cough, fever and sore throat. A rash will appear between the third and fifth days of the sickness and usually starts on the face before spreading. The disease spreads through droplets from the nose or mouth because of sneezing, coughing or talking, and it is contagious for four days before the rash appears and four days after.