First Measles Case in Chicago Resident Since 2019 Confirmed, Health Officials Say

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

A Chicago resident with a case of measles has been confirmed, the city health department said Thursday. It’s the first measles case identified in a Chicagoan since 2019.

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Health officials said they are working to identify and notify people who may have been exposed to measles, including at the facilities where the resident sought medical care.

Individuals at the following locations on Feb. 27 might have been exposed to measles, according to the city health department:

  • Swedish Hospital, Galter Medical Pavilion, at 5140 N. California Ave., between 8:30 a.m. and noon
  • CTA Bus #92 (Foster) between 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Anyone at the locations during the times listed is being asked to call the Chicago Department of Public Health at 312-743-7216, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for recommended next steps based on documented immunity to measles and level of exposure.

The source of the infection is currently unknown, health officials said. No link has been identified between this case and a measles case in an Indiana resident who visited Chicago last month.

The infectious period for the measles case ended March 6, and the individual is recovering well at home, according to a CDPH news release. While the case investigation found no recent travel outside of Chicago, the resident reported interaction with domestic and international travelers.

Measles is a serious respiratory infection that is capable of leading to pneumonia and other complications. Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes and can take from seven to 21 days to show up after exposure.

Individuals who develop symptoms of measles should contact a health care provider by phone or email before going to a medical office or emergency department so that special arrangements can be made to protect other patients and medical staff from possible infection, health officials said.

CDPH said that while cases of measles are exceedingly rare in Chicago due to high vaccination coverage from childhood, reports of measles cases have been increasing recently in the U.S. and can be dangerous to those who are unvaccinated, especially babies and young children.

Health officials said the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, or the MMR vaccine, is highly effective and remains the best protection against measles.

Last year, Illinois had five measles cases; they were the first cases in the state since 2019.

Contact Eunice Alpasan: @eunicealpasan | 773-509-5362 | [email protected]

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