Chicago Department of Public Health Weekly Media Brief, 03/22/2024

March 22, 2024

CDPH Public Information

Measles Update

CDPH continues to work with its many community and healthcare partners to respond to the first measles cases in the city since 2019, standing up vaccine operations at new arrival shelters and at the landing zone that has seen about 4,000 people receive the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine remains by far the best and most effective way to prevent the spread of measles, and all Chicagoans should review their immunization records or contact their healthcare provider to make sure they are up to date on the vaccine.

To date, CDPH has identified 17 confirmed cases of measles in Chicago, the majority of which have been found in the Pilsen new arrivals shelter on Halsted Street. Of the 17 confirmed cases, 11 are in children below the age of 5, underscoring the critical importance of the vaccine in fighting the spread of this highly infectious disease.

CDPH now has an official measles dashboard on our website, updated every morning with the most recent measles data, including case numbers and age demographics. The measles dashboard also includes a running list of community exposure locations, public settings for which a list of exposed people cannot be obtained.

On Wednesday, CDPH Commissioner Dr. Ige hosted a Facebook Live stream along with CDPH Medical Directors Dr. Michelle Funk and Dr. Alex Sloboda to talk about the ongoing measles response and field questions from the public on the steps being taken to contain the virus and vaccinate as many people as possible.

MMR vaccine is available at most doctor’s offices and pharmacies. 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. Immunization records recorded in the Illinois immunization registry can be accessed using the Illinois Department of Public Health Vax Verify portal. For more information on measles please visit the CDPH website.

THAW - Trans Health and Wellness Summit

CDPH is teaming up with Life is Work for the Spring THAW (Trans Health and Wellness) Summit on March 29 at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. The full-day summit, the first-ever trans health and wellness summit to be held in the city of Chicago, has a roster of various speakers and panelists, featuring dialogue, education, and advocacy, addressing diverse challenges faced by the transgender community.

Key topics and presentations include: Harm Reduction/Sex Work, which will explore harm reduction strategies and the intersection of sex work within the trans community; Trans Health Retention and Advocacy; and Trans Housing Inequality.

Dominique Morgan, an international award-winning artist, philanthropist, and activist is the summit’s keynote speaker. Morgan, Director of the Fund for Trans Generations at Borealis Philanthropy, leads the largest philanthropic fund serving Trans and Non-Binary people.

The goals of the summit, which coincides with Trans Day of Visibility on March 31, include empowering trans individuals with knowledge to better advocate for inclusivity, in order to work toward a brighter and more equitable future for the community.

To register or for more information, visit the Spring Thaw 2024 website.