Detroit Health Department helping residents to prevent the spread of Measles

  • Confirmed cases now reported in Wayne, Washtenaw and Oakland Counties
  • Vaccine recommended for everyone ages one and over, within 72 hours of exposure


The Detroit Health Department is recommending all Detroiters take precautions to protect against measles, a very serious respiratory illness that can lead to complications and even death. Measles is a highly contagious virus that can live in the air for up to two hours. One case has been confirmed in each of the following counties: Wayne, Washtenaw, and Oakland. All incidents to date are associated with international travel. The Detroit Health Department is working closely with the state of Michigan and Wayne County health officials to monitor and track cases.

 “We want Detroiters to put their trust in the Detroit Health Department, and we will do everything we can to keep them safe,” said Chief Public Health Officer, Denise Fair Razo. “The Health Department is working diligently to stay ahead of this health concern, and as cases are increasing, we will continue to provide updates and guidance on best practices to prevent the spread of measles.” In an effort to ensure Detroiters are remaining healthy, the Detroit Health Department is partnering with local providers to emphasize the importance of being prepared in the event of a measles outbreak, as well as offering the measles vaccination and communicating directly with parents to provide education.

“We want everyone to stay safe and encourage all Detroiters to get vaccinated, especially children. Measles is preventable with a vaccine, even up to 72 hours after someone is exposed,” said Dr. Claudia Richardson, Medical Director for the Detroit Health Department. “The measles vaccine is part of the MMR two-dose vaccine that also protects against mumps and rubella. It is recommended for everyone ages one year and older. If you have questions, please talk to your healthcare provider or call the Health Department.”

Symptoms appear seven to 14 days following exposure to the virus, and can include cough, a fever that can be very high (up to 104 degrees and over), and a rash of itchy red spots that starts on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. There is no cure for measles. It can be dangerous, especially for babies, young children, adults 20 and over, people who are pregnant and severely immunosuppressed individuals. Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to measles should monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days. If symptoms develop, call ahead before visiting a doctor, urgent care, or emergency room so precautions can be taken to avoid exposing others. Individuals who have received two doses of measles vaccine (MMR) are considered immune. Additionally, adults born before 1957 or who have had measles are considered immune. For children, the first dose of MMR vaccine is routinely given at about 12 months of age, and the second starting at 4 years of age.

The Detroit Health Department offers vaccinations for measles and all childhood vaccination series, plus COVID-19, flu, and RSV at its Immunizations Clinic at 100 Mack Avenue. Hours are Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Late hours are available on the first and third Thursday of each month, from 10:00 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Further details are available on our website: or call 313-876-IMMS (4667).