Measles case confirmed in suburban Cook County, 52 cases reported in Chicago

Suburban Cook County confirmed its first measles case linked to the outbreak that started at the Pilsen migrant shelter earlier this month.

The resident, exposed during their time at a migrant shelter, has recovered and no longer is contagious, the Cook County Department of Public Health said.

Overall, 52 cases have been reported in Chicago, most originating at the shelter, on Halsted Street in Pilsen, according to the city’s public health department.

In an attempt to slow the outbreak, over 5,000 new arrivals have been vaccinated since the first case was reported in early March. Residents were urged to receive a second dose of the measles vaccine 28 days after the first shot, health officials said Monday.

“New arrivals didn’t bring measles to Chicago. It was circulating here and they are vulnerable to it because many come from countries where they didn’t receive the vaccinations we in the United States do, and they’re living in congregate settings where it can spread more easily. We’re now doing the hard work to contain that spread,” CDPH commissioner Olusimbo Ige said.

Of the confirmed cases, 31 have been in children under age 5, health officials said.

“There are thousands of people in Chicago, especially children, that are not up to date with the MMR vaccine,” Ige said. “We encourage everyone to ensure their children are vaccinated, especially so if they are traveling, and also ensure that children are vaccinated when returning to school after spring break.”

Symptoms generally appear 10 to 14 days after exposure. Common symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, and red or watery eyes, according to the CDC. A rash can appear three to five days after initial symptoms begin.

Families with children age 1 to 5 should keep them home until 21 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, or 21 days after last exposure if they cannot be vaccinated.

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