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Cook County Health measles update & exposure notification

Cook County Health is notifying patients and visitors about potential measles exposures within its facilities.  These exposures are related to two confirmed measles cases already reported by the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).

On February 27, a patient with measles-like symptoms presented to the Stroger Hospital Emergency Department. The patient’s PCR test came back positive on March 5. The patient was admitted on February 27 under proper isolation and airborne precautions. Any person who was at the Stroger Hospital Emergency Department on Tuesday, February 27 between 12:00pm and 11:58pm should contact the Chicago Department of Public Health at 312-743-7216 Monday -Friday between 8am – 5pm.

On March 7, a second patient, who visited CCH’s Arlington Heights Health Center and CCH’s Professional Building, later tested positive for measles. Any person who was at the Arlington Heights Health Center on Thursday, March 7 between 12:00pm and 2:00pm should contact the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) at 708-836-8600. Any person who was at the CCH Professional Building between 11:00am to 3:30pm, should contact the Chicago Department of Public Health at 312-743-7216 Monday – Friday between 8:00am-5:00pm.

Cook County Health followed all appropriate reporting protocols with our local and state public health authorities in responding to these cases. The health system is coordinating with CDPH and CCDPH to contact patients and staff known to be in the vicinity of patients with measles during their visits. CCH staff who may have been exposed are also being notified. We believe the risk to our staff is low, as vaccination is a requirement of employment at Cook County Health. 

The health of our patients, staff and community are our top priority. Cook County Health’s expert team is prepared and has protocols in place to safely care for patients who present with measles-like symptoms.

We cannot emphasize enough how important vaccination is to preventing the spread of measles. The measles vaccine is safe and highly effective. The vaccine has been used for more than 50 years and two doses are 97% effective at preventing measles. Everyone ages one year old and older can and should get vaccinated.

If you have not gotten your measles vaccine, please get vaccinated today. To get vaccinated at a Cook County Health location call 833-308-1988 to make an appointment.

Regarding the new arrivals response:

Cook County Health offers medical assessments to new arrivals who have gone through the city intake process. To date, CCH has cared for 27,057 patients through 77,855 visits. Patients are offered all essential vaccines and CCH has administered more than 73,400 vaccinations to new arrival patients to protect against measles, influenza, COVID, varicella and more. 

CCH has ample supply of the MMR vaccine and strongly encourages vaccination for all patients. In addition to our New Arrivals Clinic, CCH care coordinators rotate through every city-run shelter to help connect patients with care and resources. The care coordination team worked over the weekend in support of the city’s response and will continue to have expanded hours. Cook Couty Health will continue to collaborate with our public health partners to help mitigate the spread of the virus. 

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