(CHICAGO) A total of 10 people have been confirmed to have measles in Illinois as of Tuesday, including a baby from Chicago, the Sun-Times is reporting.
Three more cases in DuPage County have been reported, but those cases haven’t been confirmed by the Illinois Department of Public Health, a spokeswoman said Tuesday evening. The DuPage County Health Department couldn’t be reached.
But the DuPage department said there were potential exposures at three locations: Advanced Pediatrics Neonatal Medicine, 473 W. Army Trail Road, Suite 103, Bloomingdale, on Jan. 26 from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Jan. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or Jan. 31 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; at Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa,792 W. Army Trail Road, Carol Stream, on Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Feb. 7 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.; and at Jewel Osco, 750 Army Trail Road, Carol Stream, on Feb. 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
All three locations are cooperating and working closely with the DuPage County Health Department to identify potential contacts and implement preventive measures, the department said in a news release.
Nine of the 10 confirmed cases in Illinois are tied to KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine.
The Illinois Department of Public Health wouldn’t say where the baby lives in Chicago, but Melaney Arnold, a spokeswoman for the state health department, confirmed that the baby was one of those tied to the KinderCare daycare center.
In addition to the Chicago baby, seven other children from the daycare — all from suburban Cook County – have been confirmed to have measles. An adult from suburban Cook County also was tied to the daycare, but according to a spokeswoman from KinderCare, that adult was not an employee.
On Tuesday, a statement posted on Elgin Community College’s website said the Kane County Health Department had confirmed that a student, who lives in suburban Cook County, had measles. The college’s statement said the student attended classes on Feb. 3 and Feb. 5 and visited the library on Feb. 3.
Separately, the first confirmed Illinois case this year — also from suburban Cook County, but with no known ties to KinderCare — was diagnosed with measles last month. The Cook County Department of Public Health announced that case on Jan. 27.
All 10 confirmed people were unvaccinated, according to health officials.
The children all were reported as being under 1 year old, and therefore, too young to be vaccinated.
News of the cluster of cases at KinderCare broke last week. The national daycare chain has since made it mandatory that all staff members be vaccinated.
Illinois health officials are still trying to figure out how the infants at the Illinois daycare center and the adult from north suburban Cook County became infected with the measles virus. No ties have been found to the December outbreak at Disneyland in California, Arnold said.
Dr. Julie Morita of the Chicago Department of Public Health said it has been monitoring the Chicago baby and anyone who may have been exposed to measles since last week, when it was suspected that the baby had the disease along with others from the daycare. Morita declined to say where the baby lived in Chicago.
Similarly, families of all of the other infants who were enrolled at the daycare and could have been exposed to the contagious virus are being monitored, public health officials have said.
Morita said the cases show the importance of maintaining high levels of vaccination.
“What this outbreak does is it really underscores the need for children and adults to be adequately vaccinated. So is there a risk for there to be more disease introduced into Chicago? Sure. There always is,” Morita said. “We have to keep our guard up, and the only way we can do that is by getting vaccinated.”
Morita and other health officials have noted that the measles vaccine is one of the most effective vaccines they have. For those who have been vaccinated, the risk of getting measles is low.
People in Chicago who want to get a vaccine can call their health care providers, or they can call 311 to be connected to the city’s public health department for a clinic that offers the vaccine free of charge, Morita said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says children should be given the first dose of measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine when they are 12 to 15 months old. The second dose usually is given before the start of kindergarten at 4 to 6 years of age.
The CDC says 121 cases have been reported in 17 states, including Illinois, and Washington, D.C., since Feb. 6.
Meanwhile, some state representatives are calling for state health officials to put new rules in place when it comes to vaccinations at schools.
Illinois law allows parents to object to required immunizations or exams for schools on religious or medical grounds.