Michigan’s second measles victim of 2017 caught the disease from the first.
But they’re not related – they were just on the same plane.
The person in the second case, an adult, was on the same flight with the first person – who was contagious at the time.
Measles – which was eliminated from the United States back in 2000 – has made a small comeback because of international travel and because some people are reluctant to get the vaccine which could prevent the disease.
Health officials say it’s important get the vaccine because it’s highly contagious – it can be transferred by a cough or sneeze – and if left untreated, it can lead to pneumonia, brain inflammation, hospitalization, and death.
Doctors also say people may be contagious for a few days before they start showing symptoms, which puts other people at risk.
“This underscores the importance of routine vaccination for both children and adults, and of making certain as many Michiganders as possible have protective immunity against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” said Dr. Eden Wells, chief medical executive for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The department says that in 1963, before the vaccine, the United States at 4 million cases a year, which killed 450-500 people.
In 2014, there were 667 cases across the country – and most of the people who got it had not been vaccinated.