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Confirmed measles case in Grand Traverse County


Grand Traverse County health officials say there has been a confirmed case of measles in the county.

An unvaccinated young adult picked up the highly-contagious disease while traveling in Eastern Europe.

The County Health Department says the infected person may have spread the virus to unvaccinated people at four locations in Traverse City—including Walmart, the Department of Human Services, Munson Family Practice and the Munson Medical Center Emergency Room.

Grand Traverse County Health Officer Wendy Hirschenberger says unvaccinated people who visited those locations between June 30 and July 4 should be careful.

"If they do not know their immunity status for measles or they have not been vaccinated they need to monitor themselves," she says.

Hirschenberger says there is a heightened risk of a measles outbreak because of the high number of unvaccinated children in Grand Traverse County.

"Even if it’s just a case or two, because of this exposure it could continue to snowball,” she says. “So really the best defense for our community is people get vaccinated."

The health department says people should call 231-955- 6800 if they experience measles symptoms, which include a moderate fever, persistent coughing, inflamed eyes, sore throat and later on a rash of small red spots.

Taylor Wizner covers heath, tourism and other news for Interlochen Public Radio.