State confirms measles case in Illinois

IDPHCOOK COUNTY — Illinois Department of Public Health Director Nirav Shah today confirmed one case of measles in Illinois. A suburban Cook County resident became ill in mid-January and test results were positive for measles.

Shah says the case in Illinois is a reminder of the importance of immunizations, and that with only 10 cases reported in Illinois over the past five years, many parents may not have experienced the severe illness that can be caused by measles. Immunizations are vital to protect not only each child, but the community as a whole.

The Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH), with assistance from IDPH, is conducting contact tracing and informing all potential contacts of their possible exposure.

Measles is highly contagious and a person with no immunity can become infected simply by being in the same room with someone who has the disease said CCDPH Senior Public Health Medical Officer Dr. Rachel Rubin.

To eliminate the potential spread of the disease, it is imperative that we notify the public of any possible exposures to residents.

Potential exposures in Illinois may have occurred to:

• Patients and visitors at the Northwest Community Hospital emergency room (800 West Central Road, Arlington Heights) on January 14th from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., and January 17th from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

• Customers at the Supermercado Guzman (1611 North Baldwin Road, Palatine) on January 12th and 13th between 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• Patients and visitors at the Vista Clinic (1585 North Rand Road, Palatine) on January 16th between 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A person who was potentially exposed and is experiencing symptoms a fever of 101 F or higher, cough, runny nose and red eyes with or without rash, should call the Cook County Department of Public Health provider. These individuals should not go to their doctor’s office or the emergency room as they could infect others around them.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes fever, red and sore eyes, runny nose, cough and a characteristic rash.

Measles can cause severe health complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis and death. Measles is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing or sneezing and can remain in the air and on surfaces up to two hours.

Infected people are contagious from four days before their rash starts through four days afterwards.

Vaccination is highly effective at preventing measles infection and is required for all Illinois school children.

At this time, there is no identified link between this measles case and the multi-state outbreak of measles associated with Disneyland.