The 2015 Measles Outbreak has officially reached Illinois, the Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed via The Chicago Sun Times.
Officials declined to give any information about the measles case, except to say that he/she is an adult over 18 living in the northern Chicago suburbs. Since the individual was unable to produce their own vaccination records, officials believe he/she caught the Measles from being unvaccinated.
Hospital officials sent notifications via e-mail, telephone calls, and regular mail to warn people who may have come into contact with the Measles virus via the infected person. Those included patients and employees who were at the hospital at the time he or she was treated; people who may have visited a clinic where the person sought treatment; and employees and customers at a small grocery in suburban Palatine.
Cook County Department of Public Health medical officer Dr. Rachel Rubin explained why it was necessary to sent out the notices.
“A person with no immunity can become infected simply by being in the same room with someone who has the disease. To eliminate the potential spread of the disease, it is imperative that we notify the public of any possible exposures to residents.”
Illinois Department of Public Health director Nirav Shah issued a statement, stating that Measles case underscores the importance of getting properly vaccinated.
“This case in Illinois is a reminder of the importance of immunizations. 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 one community as a whole.”
Officials pointed out that it does not appear that the Illinois Measles case is connected to the Disneyland Measles outbreak, which as of this post has infected 100 people in seven states.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Measles is “a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus. It spreads through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, and is followed by a rash that spreads all over the body.”
Measles was once considered all but eradicated in the U.S. as recently as 2000, according to NBC News. However, the disease has been making a comeback; doctors blame the Measles resurgence on declining vaccination rates.
As for the Illinois Measles victim, he or she will likely recover; Medicine Net reports that most healthy adults will likely recover from Measles with few or no complications.
[Image courtesy of: NBC Dallas-Fort Worth]