Two more measles cases from Palatine day care center
Two more infants from a Palatine day care center have measles, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois to 10, health officials said Tuesday afternoon.
Chicago and Cook County health officials said nine of the 10 cases are associated with a KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine. All of the cases there are among unvaccinated infants and adults. The two most recent cases are both infants.
Last week, five infants from the center contracted the disease and as many as 15 infants enrolled at the center were exposed. Health officials have said they expect more cases due to the highly contagious nature of the disease. All of the infants were too young to be vaccinated.
One of the confirmed cases in Cook County involves Elgin Community College, officials said Tuesday.
The Kane County Health Department notified the college on Monday that a case of measles had been confirmed in one of the school's students, Elgin Community College Executive Director of Communications Jeff Julian said.
Before being diagnosed, the student went to classes on Feb. 3 and Feb. 5, and also visited the library on Feb. 3, according to an email sent to the college's students and staff. The college said it is working with public health officials to contact anyone who may have been exposed to measles by the infected student.
Before last week's outbreak, there were only 10 documented cases of measles in the last five years in Illinois.
The day care center has stayed open, but those not immunized, or whose records are not up to date, are being told to stay home, Colleen Moran, a spokeswoman for KinderCare Learning Centers, said last week.
Measles is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing or sneezing and can remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours. Infected people are contagious from four days before their rash starts through four days afterward.
The outbreak continues to underscore the importance of getting vaccinated, health officials said. "The vast majority of suburban Cook County residents have been vaccinated and have a very low risk of contracting the measles," Dr. Terry Mason of Cook County's health and hospital system said last week.