CORUNNA — The Shiawassee County Health Department this week issued a warning to area residents to be on the lookout for signs of the measles.

The department said there has been a confirmed case of measles in Oakland County, the first identified case in Michigan in 2019.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that lives in the nose or throat mucus of an infected person. The virus can be spread through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air for up to two hours where an infected person coughed or sneezed. A person can become infected if they touch an infected surface and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Signs and symptoms generally occur seven to 14 days after a person has been infected. Measles typically begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red/watery eyes.

Two to three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth of an infected person. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out beginning with flat red spots. An infected person can spread measles to others four days before or after the rash begins.

The best protection against measles is through the Measles Mumps or Rubella (MMR) vaccination. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends children receive their first dose between 12 and 15 months and the second dose between four and six years of age.

Before traveling internationally, people should make sure they are vaccinated.

Anyone unsure whether they are immune to measles, should consult their vaccination records or written documentation. Anyone who can’t find written documentation, should obtain the MMR vaccine. To schedule an appointment, call (989) 743-2356.

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