Measles case confirmed in Will County as Chicago's total rises to 26: health officials

ByEric Horng and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, March 26, 2024
Measles case confirmed in Will County; Chicago's total rises to 26
A measles case has been reported in Will County, with officials linking the case to the recent Chicago measles outbreak.

WILL COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) -- A measles case has been confirmed in Will County, health officials said Monday.

Officials said the case involves a child who had been in a Chicago migrant shelter and is now living and isolating with family in Will County after being exposed to measles early last week.

Will County health officials are now conducting contact tracing, including at a daycare and schools.

Ascension St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet is among the medical centers preparing for more measles cases.

Officials are again urging vaccination, but acknowledged at least some of the positive cases from the Pilsen migrant shelter involve people who'd already had one vaccine dose.

"Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others against measles," said Will County Communicable Disease Program Manager Muneeza Azher. "If you are not vaccinated, we strongly encourage you to get the vaccine. If you are unsure whether you've been vaccinated, ask your healthcare provider to find out if you need a measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. If your child is 1 year old or older, and has never received the MMR vaccine, contact your child's pediatrician to discuss how your child can get caught up with their vaccines."

Two doses are needed to be fully-immunized, so to guard against more so-called "breakthrough" measles cases all children ages 1 to 5 at the Pilsen shelter will need two vaccine doses, 28 days apart, before returning to any K-12 school.

Younger students must wait another 21 days after their second dose before returning to preschool or daycare.

Illinois officials have confirmed 28 measles cases statewide this year. That includes 26 cases in Chicago and one each in Lake and Will counties, outpacing, in less than three months, the statewide total from the past eight years combined.

Measles signs and symptoms generally appear 10 to 14 days after exposure to the virus, officials said. Common symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat, red or watery eyes and tiny white spots that appear inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek.