TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Michigan Department of Community Health recommends measles vaccination

The Michigan Department of Community Health released a statement on Monday urging citizens to receive vaccination against the measles.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 159 measles cases in the U.S. this year since Aug. 24. The CDC found eight separate outbreaks, including the largest since 1996. The average number of measles cases in the U.S. since 2001 through 2012 was 60.

"Measles is highly contagious and is by no means a trivial disease," MDCH Chief Medical Executive Dr. Matthew Davis said. "It can result in hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis, and death. We need to achieve and sustain high levels of vaccination in Michigan and across the United States. Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles outbreaks from occurring and to prevent this disease from spreading widely in our communities."

The MDCH reported two cases of measles this year and is currently investigating a third case. Both cases occurred in unvaccinated infants younger than 12 months of age who travelled outside of the country. The CDC has begun recommending measles vaccinations for all persons six months and older if they will be traveling.

"Measles vaccine is highly effective and very safe, as numerous studies have confirmed the vaccine's effectiveness and safety record," Davis said. "People who vaccinate themselves and their children are not only protecting the health their families, but also the community and state of Michigan as a whole."