Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 04/19/2024

April 19, 2024

CDPH Public Information Office:

Measles in the Community

Chicago has seen several dozen cases of measles in previous weeks after not having a confirmed case of the virus in almost five years, and public health officials are warning that not all cases are at new arrival shelters and are also occurring in the community.

“While we've made great progress in stemming the spread of measles in our new arrivals shelters, measles is still present in Chicago and we're seeing community cases unrelated to the new arrivals response,” said CDPH Commissioner Olusimbo 'Simbo' Ige, MD, MPH. “We need everyone - whether a new arrival or a longtime Chicagoan - to ensure they and their family members are up to date on their vaccinations. Too many Chicagoans are still not vaccinated against this highly contagious virus and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”

The measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is available at most doctor's offices and pharmacies, and is highly effective and safe. Two doses of MMR vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing measles; one dose is about 93% effective. Illinois children as young as 7 years old can get vaccinated at pharmacies under Illinois law. CDPH Immunization clinics provide MMR vaccine for no out-of-pocket cost to any child 0-18 years and uninsured adults 19 and older. CDPH has also expanded its partnership with Cook County Health (CCH), establishing a standing presence at the City's landing zone to provide health screenings and vaccinations to individuals as they arrive in Chicago, and providing direct transfer to CCH's Belmont Cragin clinic for comprehensive medical exams.

Because of these increasing number of community cases, CDPH is recommending that medical providers consider administering a 2nd measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) dose to Chicago children over 12 months of age on an earlier schedule, especially if those children are attending school or daycare. While a 2nd MMR dose is usually administered at 4-6 years of the age, it can be given as soon as 28 days after a 1st dose. Children who receive two appropriately timed MMR doses before 4 years of age should not need any additional doses in their lifetime.

Adults who are unsure of their immune status can access immunization records at the Illinois immunization registry hosted by the Illinois Department of Public Health Vax Verify portal or consult with their health provider about the need to test for measles' titers to assess their immunity. If you think you have been exposed to anyone infected with measles and you have not completed your MMR vaccinations, please contact your healthcare provider for more information on post-exposure prophylaxis.

For more information on measles and to access CDPH's measles data dashboard please visit the CDPH website.

Black Maternal Health Week

This is Black Maternal Health Week, recognized each year to bring attention and support to improving Black maternal health. Currently, Black women in Chicago are 4 times more likely to experience pregnancy-related mortality than non-Latinx white women, and nearly 90% of those deaths were preventable. Black women are 7 times more likely to experience pregnancy-associated mortality.

Getting early and consistent prenatal care during your pregnancy is important, especially if you have chronic medical conditions like diabetes or hypertension. To connect with a primary care or OBYGN provider please visit CDPH's free resource directory Unite Us Public Resource Directory. You can also search for FQHC via this link Find a Health Center (

Select hospitals in Chicago are participating in the Family Connects Chicago program, supplying new families with vital care such as baby weight checks, screening for postpartum depression, increasing breastfeeding support, and providing blood pressure cuffs to birthing people with preeclampsia or prior history of high blood pressure. Learn about Family Connects Chicago at

Family Connects Chicago nurses often share the MOMS hotline resource which is sponsored by NorthShore Health System. The MOMS hotline is a free and confidential hotline for pregnant and postpartum women to call for support and connection to resources. The hotline's number is 866-364-6667.

Tree Planting with the White Sox

This week, CDPH took part in an exciting Earth Day tree planting in Armour Square alongside Mayor Brandon Johnson, White Sox Hall of Famer Harold Baines and current players Jordan Leasure and Korey Lee, White Sox Volunteer Corps, and representatives from the Departments of Environment, Streets and Sanitation, and Transportation, as well as the Chicago Park District, The Morton Arboretum, Openlands, and several Tree Ambassadors. The event kicked off tree planting season for Our Roots Chicago, an initiative that has led to more than 41,000 trees being planted equitably on public parkways since 2022. Learn more at

Tree Planting in Armour Square, Dr. Luna, Dr. Ige, and Mayor Johnson

Healthy Chicago Podcast

We have two new episodes of the Healthy Chicago podcast! In the English language episode, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional Director Michael Cabonargi speaks with Commissioner Ige about his role with Health and Human Services, the importance of Black Maternal Health, National Minority Health Month, and how the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) affects Chicagoans and people around Illinois.

In the Spanish language episode, Dr. Juanita Mora, physician and CEO at the Chicago Allergy Center, joined Dr. Geraldine Luna to talk about cases of measles among Chicagoans, outbreak response for shelters, how does measles spread, and where to get the vaccine. Listen to the episode on Measles: What is it and how does it spread? at and on all platforms:

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