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Michigan logs an 8-fold increase in Hepatitis A cases.
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A contagious person was at Lucas Coney Island on Sept. 29.

Oakland County health officials are warning patrons and staff of Lucas Coney Island in South Lyon that they may have been exposed to the measles, a sometimes deadly virus that was considered eliminated from the U.S. by the year 2000.

“Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection,” said Leigh-Anne Stafford, health officer for Oakland County. “If exposed, approximately 90 percent of people who have not been vaccinated or previously had measles will develop the disease. As a precaution, we urge unvaccinated individuals to call their doctor immediately if they notice any symptoms.”

Measles symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes.

Michigan Department of Health Health officials alerted Oakland County that a person contagious with measles was at the restaurant between between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the measles virus can live for up to two hours in the air near where the infected person coughed or sneezed, infecting others who breath in that air. The virus also spreads by touch. An infected person can leave the virus on surfaces they touch. Anyone else who touches the same surface can pick up the virus and become infected if they touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Before a vaccine was introduced in 1963, the CDC logged about 500,000 cases annually in the U.S. causing between 400 and 500 deaths. But widespread vaccinations and other measures are credited with effectively eliminating it by 2000. The virus remains active in the developing world and can be brought to the U.S. by travellers.

The case is the latest in Metro Detroit of illnesses being linked to restaurants. In recent weeks, hepatitis has been found in restaurants in the Grosse Pointes and in Ann Arbor. 

Contact John Wisely: 248-858-2262 or jwisely@freepress.com. On Twitter @jwisely.

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