SALT LAKE CITY — In a rare twist, the man who is believed to have brought a measlesoutbreak to Michigan originally thought he was immune to the disease because he had previously had measles when he was younger, ABC News reports.
The man, who is known as “patient zero” for the measles outbreak in Michigan, traveled to Michigan from New York. Before that, he had been in Israel in November. Health officials believed he caught the disease in New York, according to ABC News.
The man reportedly felt fine during his drive from New York to Michigan but then "he got sick when he arrived, started having a fever, cough and headache," Steve McGraw, the emergency medical services director for Oakland County, Michigan, told ABC News.
The man went to the doctor’s office where he was diagnosed with bronchitis, but then he returned to the doctors with a rash on his face.
The man’s doctor then called the health department. Initially, officials struggled to find the man because he didn’t have a cellphone, according to ABC News.
Eventually, health officials found the man and told him that he had measles. They identified him as someone who had been visiting Orthodox Jewish charities and spending time in different synagogues.
"He was really upset," McGraw said. "He really had no idea he had been sick that way, especially that he had been contagious."5 comments on this story
There have been more than 300 confirmed cases of measles in New York City, according to The New York Times. Many of the cases have been confined to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish Community.
The measles outbreak has yet to arrive in Utah. But Dr. Tamara Sheffield, medical director for community health and prevention at Intermountain Healthcare, told the Deseret News that "we're only one airline flight within a case coming here.”
"Utahns don't need to panic, but rather carefully consider their vaccination status," she said, adding it isn't too late to get the vaccine. "If we're not getting vaccinated, we're putting other people at risk."