Chicago health officials warn of possible measles exposure

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chicago Department of Public Health is investigating a possible measles exposure.

Officials said they were notified of a traveler with confirmed measles infection who visited several Chicago locations.

They said the exposures may have occurred on December 12 and December 17 at O'Hare International Airport and in Chicago's Greektown and Near North neighborhoods.

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Specific times and locations include:

December 12, 2019:
12:30 - 4:00 p.m. at Mr. Greek Gyros in Greektown, located at 234 S. Halsted Street
1:30 - 5:00 p.m. at Starbucks in Near North located at 515 N. State Street

December 17, 2019:
3:30 - 7:00 p.m. at O'Hare International Airport, Terminal 3
4:30 - 8:00 p.m. at O'Hare International Airport, Terminal 1

Officials said they are working to contact known exposed individuals. Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed should check their immunization records or contact their health care providers to determine if they are at risk.

Officials said those at greatest risk for infections are unvaccinated children, especially infants, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system.

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Symptoms for measles include: fever, coughing, runny nose, red eyes, diarrhea, or a rash of tiny, red spots that start at the head and spread to the rest of the body.

CDPH said the City of Chicago has one of the highest vaccinations rates for measles, mumps and rubella in the nation. Ninety-four percent of children between 19 months and three years in Chicago have received at least one dose of the MMR vaccine.

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The risk of measles transmission in the U.S. remains high due to ongoing measles outbreaks in multiple countries around the world and the high volume of travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all children get two doses of MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine, starting with the first dose at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at 4 through 6 years of age. Children can receive the second dose earlier as long as it is at least 28 days after the first dose. One dose of MMR vaccine is sufficient for most adults. If travelling internationally, individuals are at higher risk and should follow CDC's travel recommendations.

The measles vaccine is safe and effective. It is also readily available in healthcare facilities, pharmacies and CDPH walk-in immunization clinics, which provide measles vaccines to uninsured children and adults at no cost. MMR vaccination locations can be found at www.measlesvax.chicago.gov.

For more information about measles, contact your health care provider or visit www.chicago.gov/measles.
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