One case of measles confirmed in Illinois

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A young girl receives a vaccination in her left shoulder muscle.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Department of Public Health is reporting a confirmed case of measles in northern Illinois.

Director Nirav Shah says a visitor from outside the United States became ill last week and tested positive for measles. The person has since recovered and is no longer infectious.

Shah says the person visited several locations in northern Illinois, including hotels and a Northern Illinois University graduation.

Measles is highly contagious and a person with no immunity can become infected simply by being in the same room with someone who has the disease.  To eliminate the potential spread of the disease, we are working with the Chicago, DeKalb, and Evanston health departments to notify anyone known to have had potential contact with this person about their possible exposure,” said Shah.

Shah says a person who may have been exposed should contact a health care provider if they experience a 101 degree temperature or higher, cough, runny nose and red eyes and rash. If you are experiences these symptoms, do not go directly to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Call a provider first so keep from infecting others.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that is transmitted by contact with an infected person by coughing or sneezing. The disease can remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. Infected people are contagious from four days before the rash starts, to four days afterward.

Two doses of the measles vaccine is 97 percent effective at preventing the disease.

The vaccine is required for all Illinois school children.

“While Illinois did have a cluster of measles cases last year, we typically only see a handful of cases each year.  However, measles is much more common in other countries and is only a plane ride away.  It’s important that anyone who can be vaccinated get vaccinated,” said Shah.

Being vaccinated also helps protects others who cannot be vaccinated, such as infants under a year old.

CLICK HERE for more information about measles. 

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