CDPH Investigating Measles Exposures in Chicago

February 23, 2024

Confirmed case from Indiana recently sought treatment from local hospitals

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CHICAGO - The Indiana Department of Health (IDOH) has confirmed a case of measles in a northwest Indiana resident who sought medical care last week at three Chicago hospitals while contagious from February 11-16. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is in close contact with IDOH, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and leadership at the three health facilities to identify and notify people that may have been exposed to measles. No additional exposure locations have been identified in Chicago or Illinois.

Cases of measles are exceedingly rare in Chicago due to high vaccination coverage from childhood, but measles is highly contagious and can be dangerous to those who are unvaccinated, especially babies and young children. The measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) is extremely effective at preventing measles and remains by far the best protection against measles for people of all ages.

"The MMR vaccine is 97% effective at stopping transmission of measles and has enabled us to live in a time when seeing cases of measles at all is a rarity," said CDPH Commissioner Dr. Olusimbo Ige, MD, MPH. "It is never too late to get vaccinated against this virus, not only to protect yourself but also to protect those around you who may be unable or too young to be vaccinated themselves."

IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra also underscored the importance of vaccination. "I urge Illinois residents to be proactive in protecting themselves from an extremely contagious and potentially deadly infection like measles," Director Vohra said. "The MMR vaccine works and prevents serious illness. If you are not immunized, now is the best time to get yourself and your children protected."

IDOH said said the confirmed case is from Lake County, IN. This is the first case in Indiana since 2019.

Measles is a serious respiratory infection that causes a rash and high fever and is capable of leading to pneumonia and other complications. A first dose of MMR is recommended at 12 months of age and a second at 4 to 6 years of age, but it is never too late to get your MMR vaccine if you haven't already. CDPH offers MMR vaccinations at no cost for uninsured adults an children eligible for the Vaccines For Children program at our various health clinics around Chicago. Adults who aren't sure if they're vaccinated against measles should contact their health care provider. For more information about measles and how you can protect yourself, visit the CDC website.