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Measles cases confirmed in Cook County suburbs, 52 cases reported in Chicago

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Suburban Cook County confirmed its first case of measles linked to the outbreak that began at the Pilsen migrant shelter earlier this month.

The resident, exposed while staying at a migrant shelter, has recovered and is no longer contagious, the Cook County Department of Public Health said.

A total of 52 cases have been reported in Chicago, most of them coming from the shelter, located on Halsted Street in Pilsen, according to the city’s public health department.

To try to slow the epidemic, more than 5,000 new arrivals have been vaccinated since the first case was reported in early March. Residents have been advised to receive a second dose of the measles vaccine 28 days after the first injection, health officials announced Monday.

“The new arrivals did not bring measles to Chicago. The virus has been circulating here and they are vulnerable to it because many come from countries where they have not received the vaccines that we receive in the United States, and they live in congregate settings where the virus can spread more easily. We are currently working hard to contain this spread,” said CDPH Commissioner Olusimbo Ige.

Of the confirmed cases, 31 involved children under the age of 5, health officials said.

“There are thousands of people in Chicago, especially children, who are not up to date with the MMR vaccine,” Ige said. “We encourage everyone to make sure their children are vaccinated, especially if they are traveling, and to also ensure that children are vaccinated when they return to school after spring break.”

Symptoms usually appear 10 to 14 days after exposure. Common symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose and red or watery eyes, according to the CDC. A rash may appear three to five days after the first symptoms begin.

Families with children ages 1 to 5 should keep them home until 21 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, or 21 days after last exposure if they cannot be vaccinated.



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