Illinois confirms measles case in Cook County

Stephanie Kelly, City Editor

The Illinois Department of Public Health director confirmed a case of measles in Illinois on Tuesday, the department announced.

A suburban Cook County resident became ill in mid-January and then tested positive for the highly contagious respiratory disease. The Cook County Department of Public Health is currently trying to trace other people the patient might have infected.

People can become infected with measles by being in the same room as someone with the disease, said Dr. Rachel Rubin, the CCDPH’s senior public health medical officer, in an IDPH news release.

There have been 10 cases reported in Illinois within the last five years, said Evanston’s Health & Human Services director Evonda Thomas-Smith in an Evanston news release.

Symptoms include a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit or more, a cough, a runny nose and red eyes with or without a rash. The IDPH said people exhibiting these symptoms should not go to a doctor’s office or an emergency room because they might infect others. Instead, they should call health services, including the Evanston Health & Human Services Department, the city said.

There has been a recent multi-state measles outbreak connected to Disneyland last month and this month. However, the IDPH said that at this time there is no identified connection between that outbreak and the case in Illinois.

Both the city and the state department stressed the importance of vaccinations.

“Immunizations are vital to protect not only each child, but the community as a whole,” said IDPH director Nirav Shah in the news release.

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