CDC sends a team to Chicago to assist contain a measles epidemic at a migrant shelter

A measles outbreak in Chicago is spreading, with the source believed to be migrant shelters.

The number of measles cases has risen to eight at a migrant shelter, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Out of the total cases, seven are currently confined to shelters.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced its plans to send a team to Chicago to provide assistance to local and state health officials in combating the highly contagious disease.

Measles, as stated by the World Health Organization, is highly contagious and spreads through respiratory droplets when an infected individual breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The initial signs of a measles infection typically involve a high fever, accompanied by coughing and the presence of red, watery eyes.

Governor J.B. Pritzker mentioned during a separate news conference on Wednesday that he personally reached out to the White House to ensure that the CDC would be dispatched to Chicago to provide guidance and assist in implementing the current measures.

This week, the shelter where the first cases of measles were found has administered approximately 900 vaccinations. It typically takes up to two weeks for the vaccine to fully take effect.

State officials have taken action to relocate migrant families who have come into contact with measles at shelters. Their focus is primarily on ensuring the safety of pregnant women and infants, moving them to hotels for temporary accommodation.

Dr. Olusimbo “Simbo” Ige, Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health, emphasized the highly contagious nature of measles and expressed concern about an anticipated increase in cases. In the event of exposure to someone with measles, Dr. Ige strongly advised individuals who are unvaccinated to promptly quarantine themselves and seek medical advice. If unsure about vaccination status, it is recommended to stay at home and contact a healthcare provider without delay.

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According to the latest update from the CDC, there have been a total of 45 reported cases of measles in the United States this year.

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