CHICAGO — A person at Midway Airport may have exposed fellow passengers to measles last week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Health officials said people who were at Midway on Friday, Feb. 22 between 9 p.m. and midnight may have been exposed.
People in the emergency room at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital from 4 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 24 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 25 may have also been exposed, officials warned.
“Of most concern are people who have not been vaccinated,” IDPH said in a statement. “Individuals who think they have been exposed should check with their health care provider about protection through prior vaccination or the need for vaccination.”
Symptoms of measles include a rash that starts on the face and neck and then spreads, a high fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes. The fever starts about 10 days (range seven to 18 days) after exposure. The rash appears about 14 days after exposure. Infants and adults usually are sicker than children and teenagers.
If anyone was infected, their symptoms may not appear until as late as March 20, officials said.
IDPH said anyone who has symptoms should call or email a health care provider before going to an emergency department or medical office.
Measles is a serious, highly contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads easily through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or exposes others through direct contact with infected nose or throat secretions.
With effective childhood immunization programs, measles cases in the United States, Canada and other countries have dropped by 99 percent. However, there was a marked increase in measles cases in the United States during the years 1989–1991, the majority of which occurred in non-immunized children.
IDPH urged everyone to make sure they are up to date with their measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations.
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