Illinois Department of Public Health

Measles Exposure Possible at Midway Airport, Officials Warn

Health officials are warning of potential measles exposure after a passenger who was diagnosed was believed to be infectious while traveling through Midway Airport and seeking treatment at Delnor Hospital last week.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said people who were at Midway Airport on Feb. 22 between 9 p.m. and midnight or those in the emergency room at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital from 4-6:15 p.m. on Feb. 24 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Feb. 25 may have been exposed

“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.”

Should anyone be infected, they could develop symptoms as late as March 20. Symptoms include a rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red or watery eyes, health officials said.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should call or email a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department, IDPH warned.

Measles can easily spread through the air if someone coughs of sneezes. People can also get sick if they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

“Measles is highly contagious,” IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike said in a statement. “However, two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles. We urge everyone to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations, especially if you are traveling to other countries where measles is regularly found.”

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