The Daily Northwestern

Illinois Department of Public Health confirms measles case in state

Robin Opsahl, City Editor

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The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed a case of measles in Illinois after an out-of-country visitor contracted the disease in the state last week.

The infected person visited several locations in northern Illinois, including various hotels and a college graduation, according to a city news release. Although the visitor is no longer contagious, the individual visited several places between May 13 and 16 in Chicago and DeKalb, Illinois, including the Northern Illinois University campus. IDPH is working with the Chicago, DeKalb and Evanston health departments to notify anyone known to have had potential contact with this person about the individual’s possible exposure, IDPH Director Nirav Shah said in the release.

“While Illinois did have a cluster of measles cases last year, we typically only see a handful of cases each year,” Evonda Thomas-Smith, director of Evanston’s Health and Human Services Department, said in the release. “However, measles is much more common in other countries and is only a plane ride away.”

Thomas-Smith emphasized the importance of preventing the spread of disease through vaccination and hygiene, and making sure those who are contagious do not spread the disease by arranging health care provisions without going to public spaces like a doctor’s office or the emergency room.

Twitter: @robinlopsahl