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First measles case detected in Chicago in 5 years

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Chicago public health officials on Thursday said they had detected the city’s first case of measles since 2019 and urged city residents to make sure they are vaccinated against the disease.

Public health officials say there are five cases of measles in Illinois in 2023.

The source of infection in the Chicago case is unknown, but the infectious period ended Wednesday, officials said in a news release.

Officials said people who were at the Galter Medical Pavilion at Swedish Hospital on the city’s Northwest Side or took the CTA 92 Foster bus on the morning of Feb. 27 may have been exposed to measles and should call the health department.

The statement stated that measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection that can be dangerous for babies and young children. The disease is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes or when the person comes into contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person, according to state public health information.

Symptoms of measles may not appear for one to three weeks after exposure and can include rash, cough, runny nose, red eyes and high fever, according to the news release. The disease can lead to complications such as pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Olusimbo Ige urged Chicago residents to make sure they are vaccinated against measles and to consult with their child health care provider to make sure they are up to date on recommended vaccines for infants and children through age 1. 4 and 6.

“The key to preventing measles is vaccination. If you are not vaccinated, we strongly recommend that you get vaccinated,” Ige said. “If you are not sure whether you are vaccinated, consult your healthcare provider.”

Officials said that the reported measles case was recovering at home and that people who think they may have measles should contact a health care provider before receiving treatment in person.

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