December 22, 2019

The Chicago Department of Public Health Investigates Possible Measles Exposures in Chicago

Residents concerned they may have been exposed are encouraged to check vaccine records

Elena Ivanova    elena.ivanova@cityofchicago.org

CHICAGO – The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) was notified of a traveler with confirmed measles infection who visited several Chicago locations. CDPH is working to contact known exposed individuals. Exposures may have occurred on December 12 and December 17 at the following locations:

Date

Time

Location

December 12, 2019

12:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Mr. Greek Gyros, 234 S. Halsted St. Chicago IL 60661

1:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Starbucks, 515 N. State St. Chicago IL 60611

3:30 pm – 7:00 pm

O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 3

December 17, 2019

4:30 pm – 8:00 pm

O’Hare International Airport, Terminal 1

 

Individuals who think they may have been exposed should check their immunization records or contact their healthcare providers to determine if they are at risk. Healthcare providers who have questions about exposures should call 311 and ask for the communicable disease physician on call. Those at greatest risk for infection are unvaccinated children, especially infants, pregnant women without evidence of measles immunity and individuals with a weakened immune system. Measles starts with a fever that can get very high. Some of the other symptoms that may occur are cough, runny nose, red eyes, diarrhea and a rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body.

“Measles is highly contagious and any unvaccinated or non-immune person can become infected,” said CDPH Acting Commissioner Allison Arwady, MD, MPH. “The best protection against measles is through immunization, and everyone should make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on their vaccines.”

The City of Chicago has one of the highest vaccination rates for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) in the nation, so most individuals in the city are protected from measles. Ninety-four percent of children between 19 months and three years in Chicago have received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.

The risk of measles transmission in the U.S. remains high due to ongoing measles outbreaks in multiple countries around the world and the high volume of travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children get two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose. One dose of MMR vaccine is sufficient for most adults. If travelling internationally, individuals are at higher risk and should follow CDC’s travel recommendations.

The measles vaccine is safe and effective. It is also readily available in healthcare facilities, pharmacies and CDPH walk-in immunization clinics, which provide measles vaccines to uninsured children and adults at no cost. MMR vaccination locations can be found at www.measlesvax.chicago.gov.

Residents can assess their risk of getting measles with CDPH’s free questionnaire and find resources for locating vaccination records at www.doyourpartchi.org.

For more information about measles, contact your health care provider or visit www.chicago.gov/measles.

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