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Cook County reports 2 measles cases linked to Chicago illnesses

Cook County Health officials announced two more confirmed cases of measles Monday night, saying they are related to two cases previously announced by the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Chicago confirmed first case of the disease In the city in five years on Thursday. The county’s announcement came just hours after Chicago public health officials announced the number of measles patients in the hospital. The city’s largest immigrant shelter increased to four.

The first patient sought medical treatment at Stroger Hospital on Feb. 27, and the second patient visited the department’s Arlington Heights location and the Cook County Healthcare Professional Building in Chicago on Thursday, county health officials said in a news release.

Anyone who was at the Arlington Heights Health Center on Thursday should contact the Cook County Health Center, according to the release.

Anyone who was at the Cook County Health Professional Building between 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Thursday or at Stroger Hospital between noon and midnight on Feb. 27 should contact the Chicago health department, the statement said.

Measles is a serious respiratory infection that causes a rash and high fever, can be especially severe in young children, and can lead to other complications such as pneumonia. The disease is spread through the air and can be prevented by giving two doses of the vaccine to one-year-old infants and young children aged 4 to 6 years.

Officials said in the news release that they believe department personnel are at low risk of contracting measles due to the county’s vaccination mandate. The risk to the general public is very low because most people in Chicago and the United States have been vaccinated.

The first case of measles reported at the city’s largest immigrant shelter on the Lower West Side prompted a flood of city and federal public health workers to descend on the shelter on Friday and triggered a lockdown for residents who had not been fully vaccinated. The shelter hosts approximately 1,900 refugees.

The Chicago Department of Public Health said late Monday afternoon that two adults at the quarantine facility at Cermak Road and Halsted Street had tested positive, bringing the total number of cases at the shelter to four.

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