Illinois confirms 10 cases of measles

Ten measles cases have been confirmed in Illinois – specifically in Cook County – state Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said on Tuesday. All but one case are related to KinderCare Learning Center located in the suburb of Palatine. The cases involve 8 infants and 2 adults, all of whom are unvaccinated – in the case of the infants because they’re all less than one year old, which makes them too young to get the vaccine. The source of the infection has not been identified; Cook County Department of Public Health spokesperson Amy Poore said “the focus is largely on identifying exposures and conducting contact investigations to curb the spread of transmission.”

She added that the first reported case of measles in late January is not related to the day care outbreak. It has not been determined either if the cases are connected to the state-crossing outbreak that started in Disneyland. While the investigation continues, the DuPage County Health Department issued a list of three places and times where and when individuals confirmed to have measles have been: Advanced Pediatrics Neonatal Medicine, 473 W. Army Trail Road, Suite 103, Bloomingdale, on Jan. 26 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Jan. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or Jan. 31 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa,792 W. Army Trail Road, Carol Stream, on Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Feb. 7 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and at Jewel Osco, 750 Army Trail Road, Carol Stream, on Feb. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Three cases have been reported in DuPage County but none has been confirmed, health department spokesperson David Hass said.

Illinois is one of the states that allow parents to refuse vaccination for their children based on ‘personal belief.’ However, four state representatives – including Rep. Michael Zalewski, D-Riverside – have filed a resolution calling for stricter regulations concerning school vaccinations. Zalewski hopes it will encourage state officials to “tighten up (the) ways a person could opt out of a vaccination. This is a very scary time if you're a parent of a young child to know that there might be something out of your control when it comes to the health of your child.” Additionally, Chicago Department of Public Health Dr. Julie Morita pointed out that the measles vaccine is one of the most effective there are. “What this outbreak does is it really underscores the need for children and adults to be adequately vaccinated,” she said. “So is there a risk for there to be more disease introduced into Chicago? Sure. There always is. We have to keep our guard up, and the only way we can do that is by getting vaccinated.” Poore agreed that more cases are “possible.”