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Get Vaccinated, Health Officials Warn: Measles Is Back In Michigan

LANSING (WWJ) - Measles is making a comeback.

The Michigan Department of Community Health is reminding all residents to make sure they're up to date on their vaccines after five confirmed cases of measles in the state.

Two of those cases were in the Traverse City area — in unvaccinated people, the department's Dr. Matthew Davis said.  The other three cases were in Leelanau County.

Measles is a serious illness — even deadly in some cases, Davis said. He said a case of measles can cause very severe medical complications, and it's also highly contagious.

"Just one case in a school where there are many unvaccinated children can lead to a broad spread measles outbreak," he told WWJ's Dr. Deanna Lites.

While we have effective vaccines against measles and other diseases, Davis said many parents in Michigan are not vaccinating their kids — instead signing vaccination waivers

He says that's a dangerous heath risk.

"In Michigan we have fewer kids than most states who are up to date on their vaccinations and are protected against diseases that we know vaccines do a good job of preventing," Davis said.

Davis said that because of exemptions from vaccines, both in Michigan and nationwide, we're seeing a dramatic increase in cases of both measles as well as Whooping Cough.

"This is not a pattern that we have to see. We have effective vaccines that are safe for our kids to use, and we know they work very well to prevent diseases like Whooping Cough and measles," he said. "The approach that is effective is in our hands. It's our decision as parents and communities."

[Get complete information on vaccinations from the Michigan Department of Community Health HERE].

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