Travelers passing through Midway Airport last week may have been exposed to measles, health officials say


Travelers passing through Midway Airport last week may have been exposed to measles, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Most people are vaccinated against the disease in childhood, but those who have not been vaccinated are more likely to get the highly contagious and potentially fatal disease.

An unvaccinated and contagious Illinois resident arrived in the B hall of Chicago Airport on February 22, announced IDPH in a statement released Thursday. People at the airport between 21h. and midnight may have been exposed to the disease, said the department.

According to IDPH, measles spreads in the air when a person coughs or sneezes and can also be spread through contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

Two days after the infected person was in Midway, they sought treatment at the emergency department of the Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, in the western suburbs of Geneva. Those who were in emergency on February 24 between 11:45 and 14:15. According to the press release, people were also exposed to the hospital from 4 pm at 18:15 on February 24 and from 10:00 to 13:00 on February 25.

IDPH and the local health services are investigating the case, according to the press release. According to the press release, no other public places have been known and the local health services are trying to warn Illinois residents who may have been exposed on this person's flights.

"Measles is very contagious," said the director of the IDPH, Dr. Ngozi Ezike, in the statement. "However, two doses of measles vaccine are about 97% effective in preventing measles. We urge everyone to ensure that measles / mumps / rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate vaccines and their family members are up to date, especially if you go to the clinic. other countries where measles is regularly diagnosed. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it also protects people around you who are too young to receive the vaccine or who can not receive it for medical reasons. "

People infected with measles may not develop symptoms for several weeks. Symptoms such as rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes could develop as late as March 20, according to IDPH. Serious complications such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain may follow.

IDPH recommends contacting a health care provider before going in person to consult a health professional, to schedule an assessment that prevents other patients and medical personnel from getting the infection.

More information on measles is available here.

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