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Health officials report second case of measles at Chicago's O'Hare

18 January 2018

Leaders in the Illinois Department of Public Health say the new case did not come from Chicago O'Hare airport, even though the person went through the facility, because they had already contracted measles.

The newly reported case, who was infectious at the time, was at O'Hare Terminal 5 on the morning of January 9, then on January 10, traveled to the Concourse Office Plaza in Skokie, NorthShore Evanston Hospital, the NorthShore Skokie Hospital and later to Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. They will all be contacted directly by local health departments, IDPH officials said.

In the January 10 case, after arrival, the affected individual did not leave the airport and departed on a domestic flight several hours later.

The alert said the passenger, who "was infectious on that day", arrived on an global flight at Terminal 5 of the airport and departed on a domestic flight from Terminal 1. The person with measles also visited an office plaza and three suburban hospitals between January 10 and 13. The department says there's no measles outbreak at O'Hare, which served 78 million passengers in 2016. If they were infected, symptoms could develop as late as the end of the month.

"Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles", Dr Jennifer Layden, the chief medical officer for IDPH, said in a statement. People who have not received a measles vaccination are asked to get themselves checked. "Very few people", about 3 percent, who receive two doses of measles vaccine will contract the virus if exposed to it, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes, adding that travelers can bring measles into the US from common travel destinations like England, France, Germany, the Philippines, Vietnam and India. Symptoms include a rash that starts on the face and neck, a high fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes. However, the agency advised travelers to talk to their healthcare provider before going to the emergency room, so special arrangements could be made to protect other patients and staff from infection.

Although the measles was declared eliminated from the USA in 2000, there were 86 Americans reported to have the disease in 2016.

Health officials report second case of measles at Chicago's O'Hare