Illinois Department of Public Health Confirms Cases of Measles in Illinois

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D., is confirming six cases of measles in Illinois. The first case was a Cook County resident who became ill in late January. The remaining five cases are associated with a KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine in Cook County. Health officials will continue to investigate the source of the disease, identify and follow-up with anyone who may have potentially been exposed, and be vigilant for new cases.

“The solution to ending measles is simple – get vaccinated,” said Director Shah. “The vaccine is 97 percent effective upon receipt of two doses. But the vaccine alone doesn’t provide protection; it is the vaccination that will prevent disease. I urge everyone who is eligible to receive the vaccine to get vaccinated.”

There was a reported case of measles in Madison County, however, upon further investigation IDPH no longer considers this to be a case of measles. The status of a case can change as new information comes to light, and it is for this reason that IDPH will only report confirmed cases of measles.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes fever, red and sore eyes, runny nose, cough and a characteristic rash. The disease can cause severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis and death. Measles is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing or sneezing and can remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. Infected people are contagious from four days before their rash starts through four days after the rash develops.

If you believe you may have been exposed to measles and are experiencing symptoms, please call the doctor’s office, health clinic or emergency department before going so staff can take precautions to help avoid further spread of measles.

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