Lake County health authorities issue alert of potential measles exposure

  • This undated image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Feb. 4, 2015 shows an electron microscope image of a measles virus particle, center. Lake County health officials warned Thursday of a possible measles exposure Feb. 15 at a Long Grove home improvement store.

    This undated image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Feb. 4, 2015 shows an electron microscope image of a measles virus particle, center. Lake County health officials warned Thursday of a possible measles exposure Feb. 15 at a Long Grove home improvement store. AP Photo/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cynthia Goldsmith

 
 
Updated 2/27/2015 5:45 AM

Lake County health officials Thursday cautioned that anyone who visited or worked at a Menards store in Long Grove during about a seven-hour period on Feb. 15 may have been exposed to measles.

An alert issued by the department emphasizes there are no reported cases of measles in Lake County, but that anyone who was at the home improvement store, 2700 W. Lake St., between 7:55 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. that Sunday may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease.

 

An individual who tested positive for measles was at the store that day and could have been contagious, health officials said.

"There are 15 confirmed cases," in Illinois, said Leslie Piotrowski, health department spokeswoman. "Fourteen are (from) suburban Cook County and one is in Chicago. It's one of those 15 people."

Twelve infants at a KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine are among those with confirmed cases of measles.

Details regarding the person who was at the Menards were not disclosed. Piotrowski said that once the case was confirmed, "an extensive interview process" led to Thursday's precautionary notice.

"Because measles is so very contagious, we felt it important to get the information out to the public," she said.

The home improvement retailer is "cooperating closely" with the health department and Illinois Department of Public Health, she added.

Measles is a respiratory disease that is transmitted by contact with an infected person through coughing or sneezing. It can remain in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours, according to the health department.

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Symptoms usually appear in seven to 12 days, but can take up to 21 days, Piotrowski said. They include a fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash of tiny, red spots that starts at the head and spreads to the rest of the body.

Anyone who was potentially exposed and is experiencing symptoms, with or without a rash, should call a health care provider. Individuals should notify the physician or emergency department before going to that location.

Most people in Illinois have been vaccinated for measles, but as a precaution the health department will offer free vaccination clinics at to-be-determined dates and times for store customers and employees who believe they may have been exposed. Visit http://health.lakecountyil.gov or call (847) 377-8130 for more information

In Illinois, there are 21 entities or professions responsible for reporting a suspected case of measles to the health department as soon as possible or within 24 hours, according to Piotrowski. Since January, the department has been providing information and updates on measles to local day care facilities, schools and health care providers.

@dhmickzawislak

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