First cases of measles detected in Chicago since 2019, including a migrant child

As of this Friday, Chicago authorities have identified two cases of measles, which correspond to a resident and a migrant child in a shelter. These are the first cases reported in the city since 2019.

In the case of the city resident, the source of infection was unknown and the person was “recovering well at home,” the Chicago Department of Public Health reported Thursday, adding that the person’s infectious period ended on March 6. March.

On Friday, authorities announced a second confirmed case of measles in a young child staying at a shelter for immigrant families. The boy also recovered and no longer suffers from the infection, according to a statement.

The department has said it is working to determine and notify people who may have been in contact with the two people diagnosed with measles.

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Migrants at the shelter, in the Pilsen neighborhood, have been asked to remain there until authorities can determine who is vaccinated and therefore immune to measles, and who might be at risk of infection, according to a report. statement from the public health agency.

“Vaccinated people can leave the shelter, while unvaccinated people must remain there,” the statement said. “All unvaccinated residents will be screened for symptoms and offered the measles vaccine.”

City agencies will establish a process to evaluate the vaccination status of all shelter residents early Friday, according to the statement.

Most Chicago residents are vaccinated against measles during childhood and are not at high risk of contracting the disease, the public health authority said.

Councilman Byron Sigcho-López of Chicago’s 25th Ward said in a statement that the migrant shelter’s population was 1,876 people this week, including 95 children between the ages of 1 and 2. This figure is lower than last year, which was 2,550 people.

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As for the case diagnosed in the city resident, the department said it did not identify any recent out-of-town travel, but the person reported having interactions with domestic and international travelers.

The city urged people who were at the Swedish Hospital facility on February 27 between 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. or who were on Chicago Transit Authority Bus 92 between 9:15 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. the same day, to call the department to determine next steps.

“Although measles cases are extremely rare in Chicago due to high vaccination coverage since childhood, reports of measles cases have recently increased internationally and in the United States,” the department said in its statement Thursday.

There were five cases of measles diagnosed in the state of Illinois in 2023; Before that, the state had not recorded a case since 2019, according to the statement.

No link has been established between the city resident’s current measles case and a measles case in an Indiana man who visited Chicago last month, the statement said, adding that the latter case did not lead to any additional case of measles among Chicago residents.

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“The MMR vaccine is 97% effective in stopping measles transmission and has allowed us to live in a time when seeing cases of measles is a rarity,” Olusimbo Ige, commissioner of the department, said in a statement.

“It is never too late to get vaccinated against this virus, not only to protect yourself, but also to protect those around you who can get vaccinated or who are too young to get vaccinated,” Ige said.