University reports possible measles exposure on campus

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 5:56pm

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Alec Cohen/Daily

In an email to students and faculty Friday afternoon, Robert Ernst, University Health Service executive director and Student Life associate vice president for health and wellness, wrote an international visitor who visited the University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus has measles. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Washtenaw County Health Department said this case of measles is unrelated to the 39 cases previously identified in Michigan, WXYZ reported Friday afternoon.

Ernst wrote anyone in the Intramural Sports Building on April 1, 3 and 4; North Quad Residential and Academic Complex on April 3; or the Fishbowl in Angell Hall on April 4 and 5 should monitor themselves for a rash and fever or other symptoms consistent with measles over the next couple of weeks. He also noted exposure may have also occurred off-campus. A list of additional sites that may have been exposed to the virus can be found on WXYZ’s website. 

Measles, a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus, comes with beginning symptoms of high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. A rash breaks out three to five days after symptoms begin.

Ernst encouraged anyone who believes they could have measles to contact a health care provider as soon as possible, specifically noting students on the Ann Arbor campus should call UHS. He said if one does have or believes they have measles, they should not expose others.

A vaccination is recommended for prevention, and one is considered immune with a 97 percent level of protection from measles if they received two doses of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. One can also have immunity if the person has had measles in the past. Individuals born before 1957 are also likely immune. 

This case comes following Washtenaw County health officials’ announcement the first reported case in a state measles outbreak was actually a false positive, MLive reported Thursday night. A child exhibiting symptoms of measles initially tested positive, but additional testing found them not to be, the article said.