5 measles patients cleared to return; 11th case confirmed
Cook County health officials have cleared the way for five children sickened through a measles cluster at a Palatine day care center to return to the facility just as an 11th case in Cook County was confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
The additional case is an infant connected to the day care center who has been under observation, Cook County health officials told media outlets. That makes 10 total cases in suburban Cook County and one in the city.
Colleen Moran, a spokeswoman for KinderCare Learning Centers, said all five of those cleared to return are infants who were too young to receive immunization from the disease.
"We're hoping to have them back next week," Moran said.
Health authorities last week announced that five infants who attend the KinderCare at 929 E. Palatine Road had contracted measles. Four more children at the center have since been diagnosed with the illness.
Moran said she did not know if the five infants given permission to return were the same five first diagnosed.
On the advice of Cook County health officials, the Palatine center has stayed open despite the measles outbreak. Those not immunized, or whose records are not up to date, were told to stay home.
"Naturally, when we heard there was an instance with measles, we did what we needed to do to keep everyone healthy," Moran said Wednesday. "We have been very receptive to all the guidance that Cook County has given."
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 a characteristic 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, chief operating officer of the Cook County public health department, said last week.