CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) - The Chicago Department of Public Health is warning Chicagoans of possible measles exposure after a person was confirmed Friday to be infected with the virus.
The highest risk areas include public transportation between O’Hare Airport and the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, the Loop, Millennium Park, and stores on State Street between Monroe and Randolph as well as on South Canal Street, health officials said.
The department said they are working closely in these locations to contact exposed individuals.
“Measles is a serious yet preventable disease through a safe, effective and universally available vaccine” CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita said. “Chicagoans should make sure their children and family members are up to date on vaccines now. Vaccination is the best way to protect against measles.”
An uptick in measles outbreaks and a high volume of international travelers means that the risk of measles transmission in Chicago and across the country is high, CPDH said. CPDH is advising people to check their immunization records and contact their doctors to determine if they need a vaccine.
A recent study suggested Cook County is one of the most likely places for a measles outbreak — and could see among the largest number of cases of any county at risk.
Measles begins with a high fever before other symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, red eyes, rashes and diarrhea take effect, CPDH said.
CPDH said that the following people should be vaccinated if they’ve traveled internationally or to sites of active outbreaks:
· Infants 6 through 11 months should receive one dose of MMR vaccine.
· Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
· Adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles should get two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
· Adults with documentation of one dose of MMR vaccine should get a second dose.
People born before 1957 are protected against measles, CPDH said. Most adults require one dose of the vaccine, including those who received a measles vaccine between 1957 and 1989.