Alert issued for possible measles exposure in Cook County

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A Cook County resident who is confirmed to have measles visited a Chicago restaurant and Mt. Prospect grocery store during their infectious period. (WLS)

Health officials issued an alert about measles exposure Monday after learning that a Cook County resident who is confirmed to have the illness visited a Chicago restaurant and Mt. Prospect grocery store during his or her infectious period.

Between 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. July 13, the person visited the Panera Bread, 400 W. Division Street, in Chicago. A day later, between noon and 4 p.m., the person visited Jewel-Osco, 333 E. Euclid Avenue, in Mount Prospect.

Dr. Max Brito, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, said the disease can be transmitted even without direct contact with the infected individual.

"Supermarkets are probably one of the worst," Brito said. "Any surface that that individual touched can be potentially contaminated with measles."

The places listed in the alert are no longer contagious, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health.

Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. The highly-contagious virus is able to survive in the air and on surfaces for hours.

Anyone who visited those locations and are experiencing symptoms of measles should contact a health care provider for an evaluation. It is recommended that individuals call before going into a facility so special arrangements can be made to protect other patients and medical staff from infection.

The infected person had recently visited another country with an ongoing measles transmission and had no prior immunity to measles.

Those with measles symptoms should also contact their local health department. Cook County residents, contact CCDPH at 708-836-8699. Lake County residents, contact Lake County Department of Public Health at 847-377-8130. Chicago residents, contact Chicago Department of Public Health at 312-746-5380 and select option 1.
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