Chicago Health Officials Introduce Measures to Contain Measles Outbreak
Health

Chicago Enforces New Measles Vaccine Policy for Migrant Shelter Residents

Chicago health officials have announced a new policy for residents at a Pilsen migrant shelter regarding the measles vaccine. The policy requires individuals to receive a second dose of the vaccine 28 days after the first shot. This decision was made in response to an increasing number of measles cases among young children at the Halsted Street shelter. The second dose will help protect preschool children until their immunity to measles is fully developed and will prevent the spread of the virus to other children who have not received a second dose.

The city of Chicago has reported 26 measles cases, with 19 of them being in children under the age of 5. Most of these cases have been linked to the Pilsen migrant shelter. According to CDPH commissioner Olusimbo Ige, children are at a higher risk of contracting breakthrough measles after receiving only one dose of the vaccine, especially those under 5 years old. The goal is to protect young children from contracting measles by ensuring they receive 2 doses of the MMR vaccine.

The new policy applies to all children between the ages of 1 and 5 at the shelter. Families with children in this age group are advised to keep them at home until 21 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, or 21 days after their last exposure if they cannot receive it. This change will impact around 50 children at the shelter, all of whom have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The initial symptoms of measles include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red or watery eyes, and a rash that may appear three to five days after the initial symptoms begin. The virus is highly infectious and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, or contact with an infected person. The CDC reports that the virus can live for up to two hours in the air and that infected individuals can spread it up to four days before and after a rash appears.

Chicago health officials are taking proactive measures to protect its residents, especially young children, from spreading this contagious virus by implementing this new policy on vaccinations for residents at Pilsen migrant shelter.

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