Officials Urge Residents to Take Precautions After Potential Measles Exposures

Authorities believe that the infected individual traveled through O'Hare on two occasions

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Public health officials are advising area residents to make sure they are up to date on their immunizations after potential measles exposures in several locations across Chicago.

According to the Chicago Department of Public Health, the person traveled through O’Hare International Airport on Dec. 12 and 17, and also visited a restaurant and a Starbucks on Dec. 12.

The individual visited the following locations:

Dec. 12

12:30 – 4 p.m. Mr. Greek Gyros, 234 South Halsted

1:30 – 5 p.m. Starbucks, 515 North State Street

3:30 – 7 p.m. O’Hare International Airport Terminal 3

Dec. 17

4:30 – 8 p.m. O’Hare International Airport Terminal 1

Individuals who think they may have been exposed during those times should check immunization records or contact their healthcare provider to determine whether they are at risk for measles, according to the CDPH.

Physicians are recommending that all residents check to make sure that their immunizations are up to date.

“The vaccine is extremely effective,” Dr. Rachel Rubin, senior medical officer at the Cook County Department of Public Health, said. “If you’ve even had just one, it’s 97 percent effective and if you’ve had both shots, which is what is highly recommended, it is over 99 percent effective.”

The people most at risk for contract measles are unvaccinated children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.

Symptoms include an upper body rash, fever, cold, runny nose and fatigue.

Customers at the Mr. Greek Gyros location said that it’s been in contact with customers who attended a party at the restaurant during the time window on Dec. 12, and they say no one has become infected.

Even if you suspect you have the measles, officials don’t recommend rushing into your doctor’s office.

“Don’t immediately go and rush to your doctor’s office,” Dr. Rubin said. “Call first, because you can infect someone else if you walk into a waiting room.”

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