If you go to Illinois, it's not a bad idea to get vaccinated first.

It's the time of year for people to get sick. Allergies, flu, stomach flu, there are all kinds of illnesses going around. It feels like we're keeping medicine companies in business and taking a few sick days from work and school.

But there's a specific outbreak that's going around one Illinois city.

National Outbreak

USA Today
USA Today

The good news is that it's not COVID. There's a national outbreak of a very specific virus going around and Illinois is becoming a hotspot of it.

Shelters in Chicago have increasingly been reporting measles according to NBC Chicago. It's spreading in Chicago (and all of Cook County) and just this week, Cook County Department of Public Health Chief Operating Officer Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck said:

Although the cases are in Chicago, we are tracking nearly 100 potentially exposed people. This investigation underscores just how infectious measles can be. We strongly encourage everyone to check their vaccination records and get vaccinated if needed.

You can still get measles even if you have both vaccine doses. The CDC says it's rare but it can happen. Obviously, if you don't have the measles vaccine, you're at higher risk. Anyone can get measles if you haven't been vaccinated but it's most common in kids, according to NHS.

Most Chicago cases are coming from one specific migrant shelter, the Pilsen migrant shelter, and they are spreading to kids.



The Illinois Department of Public Health says that symptoms of measles include:

  • rash
  • high fever
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • red, watery eyes

Symptoms can appear 14-21 days after you've been exposed to the virus. According to USA Today, the last measles outbreak in the U.S. was in 2019 (so hopefully this isn't a precursor to 2020 Part 2).

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