Measles cases continue to grow among babies too young to receive the combination measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine. Five infants at a suburban Chicago daycare center have been diagnosed with the disease.
Cook County and Illinois public health officials are investigating the cluster of measles cases at KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine, a suburb of Chicago. Lab tests have confirmed measles in two of the babies, and doctors are waiting for confirmation on the other three tentative diagnoses. The source of the infection is currently unknown.
All the children are being cared for at home and are reported to be doing okay.
Say officials, “Individuals who are under the age of one or with certain clinical conditions cannot be vaccinated and are therefore at highest risk for measles. Residents are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves and the most vulnerable members of the community.”
Students, staff, and faculty at the daycare center who have not received the MMR vaccine have been told to stay at home and away from other unvaccinated individuals for the next 21 days.
Said KinderCare operators in a prepared statement, “We are focused on ensuring the continued health and safety of the rest of our center. We are following Public Health officials’ guidance and excluding unvaccinated children and staff.”
Continues the statement:
“While these measles cases seem to be focused on the northwest suburban Cook County region, any resident who is unvaccinated and experiences symptoms of a high fever and a rash should call their local health department as well as their healthcare provider. These individuals should notify their doctor or emergency department before seeking care so that staff are able to take appropriate precautions to prevent others from being infected.”
The daycare center was given a “deep clean” on Wednesday night to prevent further spread of the disease.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by the measles virus that is spread through contaminated droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected individual. Coughing and sneezing are the most common ways in which the measles virus is passed from person to person.
The MMR vaccine, which is up to 99 percent effective, is the only effective means of preventing infection with the measles virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently recommends all children receive two doses of the MMR vaccine, with the first dose given between 12 and 15 months and the second dose between 4 and 6 years. However, children under the age of 1 generally cannot receive the MMR vaccine, meaning that infants are extremely vulnerable to measles infection.
A California daycare also closed earlier this week after an infant under the age of 1 was diagnosed with measles. Thirty other babies were quarantined in California in January as a result of possible measles exposure.
Five Babies at Suburban Chicago Daycare Center Have Measles: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/05/us-usa-measles-illinois-idUSKBN0L92FD20150205
Five Infants from Palatine Daycare Center Diagnosed with Measles: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2015/02/05/five-infants-from-palatine-daycare-center-diagnosed-with-measles/
Nursery School: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Nursery_school_environment.jpg