Chicago mother speaks out after son infected with measles: 'Thought he was going to die in my arms'

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Saturday, March 16, 2024
Mother shares scary experience after young son infected with measles
As a Chicago measles outbreak continues, a mother shared her family's health scare experience after their 3-year-old son was infected with the virus.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As a measles outbreak continues in the Chicago, 10 of the 12 cases confirmed have been tied to a migrant shelter in Pilsen.

ABC7 spoke with a Chicago family who says their toddler is recovering from the virus, and they fear their infant may also have it.

Chicago mother Jessica Coletti said she has no idea how her son was infected with measles. He doesn't attend CPS schools and has mostly been at home. His experience with the virus is something she never wants to endure again.

Coletti never thought it would happen to her family.

"I feel like I've woken up in a different world," Coletti said.

Her 3-year-old son Vincent started feeling sick last Wednesday.

"He was lethargic, not drinking, not eating," Coletti said. "We were in the hospital on Friday. They sent us home... told us it was COVID."

However, days later, he was back in the hospital.

"He woke up Monday morning, didn't talk, didn't move, and the rash started on his cheeks, on his face, and then moved all the way down his body," Coletti said. "I knew something was just really wrong with my child."

SEE ALSO | Majority of evictions at Chicago migrant shelters on hold as city grapples with measles outbreak

She said Vincent tested positive for measles, and he was the sickest she'd ever seen him.

"I honestly thought he was going to die in my arms, and I just kept telling him that 'mommy's getting help, and you're going to be okay.'"

The CDC recommends children get two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the first at 12 to 15 months of age, and the second between the ages of four and six.

Coletti said her son has received his first shot, but he isn't old enough yet to get the second shot.

"When kids have one vaccine in, we're talking about a 93% efficacy in protection against the measles," allergist and immunologist Dr. Juanita Mora said. "When they have two vaccines themselves, we go up to 95-97% efficacy. We have a lot of toddlers in this age group where they might fall into this range where they don't have enough immunity built

As of Friday night, Vincent has started to bounce back.

"He seems much better," Coletti said. "He's sitting next to me. He has chocolate on his face, but he is much better."

Now the family's concern is turning to their other child, who is already showing symptoms too.

"I never would have thought we would come back positive for measles, and now I'm just scared and concerned for my 10-month-old," Coletti said.

She said so far her 10-month-old daughter doesn't have a rash.

The entire family will now be in quarantine for 21 days after what they said has been a very scary ordeal.