Health officials in Chicago implement new policy to curb measles outbreak

The city of Chicago has introduced a new policy for residents at a Pilsen migrant shelter, requiring them to receive a second dose of the measles vaccine 28 days after the first shot. This decision was made following an increase in measles cases among young children at the Halsted Street shelter. The second dose is aimed at providing additional protection to preschool children until their immunity is fully developed and preventing the spread of the virus to individuals who have not had a second dose of the vaccine.

According to CDPH commissioner Olusimbo Ige, the second dose of the MMR vaccine is crucial for children, particularly those under five who are at higher risk of contracting measles despite receiving one dose. The new policy applies to children aged one to five at the shelter, and families are urged to keep these children at home until 21 days after the second dose of the vaccine or 21 days after last exposure if they cannot be vaccinated. Approximately 50 children at the shelter will be impacted by this new policy, all of whom have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Measles symptoms typically appear within a week or two after exposure to the virus and include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red or watery eyes. A rash may develop three to five days after the initial symptoms. The virus is highly infectious and spreads through coughing, sneezing, or contact with an infected person. It can remain airborne for up to two hours after an infected person has left the area. Those with the virus can spread it up to four days before and after the rash appears, and 90% of non-immune individuals exposed to

By Samantha Johnson

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