New Vaccine Policy for Migrant Shelter Residents to Prevent Measles Outbreaks in Pilsen, Chicago

By Eleanor Harrison Mar26,2024
Chicago Health Officials Introduce Measures to Contain Measles Outbreak

In response to the rising cases of measles among young children at a Pilsen migrant shelter in Chicago, health officials have announced a new policy for residents at the shelter. According to the policy, individuals should receive a second dose of the measles vaccine 28 days after the first shot. This decision was made to protect preschool children until their immunity to measles is fully developed and to prevent the spread of the virus to other children who have not received a second dose.

The city of Chicago has reported 26 measles cases, with 19 of them being in children under five years old. Most of these cases have been linked to the Pilsen migrant shelter. Children are at a higher risk of contracting breakthrough measles after receiving only one dose of the vaccine, especially those under five years old. The goal is to protect young children from contracting measles by ensuring they receive two doses of the MMR vaccine.

The policy has been extended to include children between one and five years old at the shelter. Families with children in this age group are advised to keep them at home until 21 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, or 21 days after their last exposure if they cannot receive it. This new policy will impact around 50 children at the shelter, all of whom have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The initial symptoms of measles include a high fever, cough, runny nose, red or watery eyes, and a rash that may appear three to five days after the initial symptoms begin. The virus is highly infectious and can be spread through coughing, sneezing, or contact with an infected person. The CDC reports that the virus can live for up to two hours in the air and that infected individuals can spread it up to four days before and after a rash appears.

In response to this outbreak, Chicago health officials have taken proactive measures to protect its residents from spreading this contagious virus by issuing this new policy on vaccines for residents at migrant shelters in Pilsen.

By Eleanor Harrison

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