CDC sends response team to Chicago migrant shelter amid measles outbreak


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is deploying medical personnel to help address a measles outbreak at a migrant detention center in Illinois.

Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) officials announced Sunday that CDC teams will help screen and vaccinate “new arrivals” to its Pilsen migrant shelter after a second case of measles was discovered at the center.

“Teams from CDPH and healthcare partners including Cook County Health, Rush University Medical Center and the University of Illinois-Chicago have been on site all weekend at the Pilsen shelter screening all residents for symptoms and vaccination status, and administering vaccines as needed,” the CDPH said in a statement.

“A team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also coming to Chicago to assist with the response,” the statement added.

SECOND CASE OF MEASLES CONFIRMED AT CHICAGO MIGRANT SHELTER

Measles virus

This photo illustration shows 3D-rendered models of the measles virus. (iStock)

City officials are urging residents to make sure everyone in their household is vaccinated against measles, and are instituting a 21-day quarantine for migrants after receiving the shot.

“The majority of Chicagoans are vaccinated against measles and therefore are not at high risk but we are strongly urging those who aren’t vaccinated to do so as soon as possible, new arrivals and all Chicagoans. It is by far the best protection against measles, which for the first time in years is in our city,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Olusimbo Ige. 

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Migrants on the floor and on cots at a makeshift shelter at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport

Recently arrived migrants sit on cots and the floor of a makeshift shelter operated by the city at O’Hare International Airport on Aug. 31, 2023. (Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

She continued, “Because of how contagious measles is, I anticipate seeing more cases. Should you be exposed to someone who has measles, if you are not vaccinated you need to immediately quarantine and call a health provider. If you are not sure of your vaccination status, stay home and call your health provider as soon as possible.”

The Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) is providing meals for those required to stay in the shelter for quarantine.

A total of five cases have thus far been reported in the Chicago area.

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Chicago migrants

A group of migrants receives food outside a migrant landing zone during a winter storm in Chicago. (Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images)

Medical teams have not yet been able to establish a link connecting the cases.



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