Close up of doctor's hands vaccinating child

Middle-aged people may be more susceptible to contracting the measles.

By Stacy Gittleman

The number of measles cases in Michigan continues to rise. The state’s health department says that the measles outbreak in Southeast Michigan is now up to 22 cases as of Wednesday, March 27, and that the first case has now been reported in Wayne County.

Some of the people coming down with measles believed they had been inoculated against the disease as children, such as Stuart Sandweiss of Oak Park.

Stuart Sandweiss Courtesy of Stuart Sandweiss

Last week, Sandweiss felt under the weather. On Tuesday night, he was running a fever high enough to warrant concern to call and visit his doctor the next day. Though he did not yet have the telltale measles rash or the runny nose and coughing symptoms, he was concerned because he had been to several locations where the man who carried the first measles case had visited, according to the Oakland Health department said, including the Kollel and Yeshivah Gedolah of Oak Park.

The 55-year-old attorney followed instructions given by the county health department. He called ahead before he visited his doctor on Wednesday and was sent for blood work at Beaumont, where he said his antibodies for measles were “sky high.” He said his wife received a booster vaccine at the Hatzalah clinic and his son, a teenager, is fully immunized.

The good news is that he was treated quickly. After experiencing some minor discomfort and a rash by Thursday, his fever broke over the weekend and by Monday, he said he felt fine.

“I think that middle-aged people are the ones who are most susceptible to this outbreak and they should be extra vigilant,” Sandweiss said. “I think many of my age group are going around thinking we will be OK because we had childhood vaccinations. But maybe some of us only received one dose because that was what was recommended decades ago. We thought we were all immune. Maybe we need to take a second look at the system.”

According to the Oakland County Health Department, “Adults born in 1957 or later should receive at least 1 dose of MMR vaccine unless they have other acceptable evidence of immunity. A second dose of MMR vaccine is needed for adults who may have been exposed to a measles case, or those who are students in colleges/universities, work in health care or plan to travel internationally. In an outbreak situation, potentially exposed individuals without documentation of 2 MMR doses should receive a dose of MMR.”

Check with your health care provider to see if you need to be vaccinated.

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