CHA Encourages People To Know Their Measles Vaccination Status
By: Mike Stiles - Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency

COLDWATER, Mich. – The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency is urging the public to know your measles vaccination status.

An announcement was made March 22 by the Jackson County Health Department about the possibility of measles exposure at Henry Ford Allegiance Hospital. Because of that the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph CHA is recommending individuals who have not received the measles vaccine to get it.

Dr. Karen Luparello, Medical Director for the CHA says 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. Luparello says 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.

Symptoms of measles usually begin 7-14 days after exposure, but can appear up to 21 days after exposure and may include: High fever (may spike to over 104˚F); Cough; Runny nose; Red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis); Tiny white spots on the inner cheeks, gums and roof of the mouth (Koplik Spots) two to three days after symptoms begin; and a rash that is red, raised, blotchy; usually starting on the face, and then spreading to the trunk, arms and legs three to five days after symptoms begin.

Immunization is the best way to protect residents from the harmful consequences of measles.

Children and adults can get vaccinations at any of the CHA offices, their primary care provider, or many local pharmacies. To schedule an appointment at you local CHA office, call the office closest to you. In St. Joseph County, the office in Three Rivers can be reached by calling 269-273-2161, extension 208. In Branch County, the Coldwater office number is 517-279-9561, extension 100. In Hillsdale County, the office is in Hillsdale and the number is 517-437-7395, extension 336.


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