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Measles Outbreak Raises Concerns in US as Cases Surge, Prompting Vaccination Efforts

Visual Representation for Measles Infection | Credits: iStock

United States: Measles have become a source of concern for the local health authorities of the United States, especially for those who have been analysing the current measles-linked situation at a migrant shelter. The authorities have sounded alarm after the number of cases reached up to eight (8) within a week.

The worries have heightened after the Chicago Department of Public Health reported measles infection in three additional people. Along with this, on Monday, two more adults were diagnosed with the infectious disease. The cases have increased after a child living at the shelter was hospitalized after getting infected with measles, but the experts have mentioned that currently, the child is in “good condition”.

Statement by the health department!

A statement linked to the current measles outbreak was shared by the health department on Tuesday. According to the same, all eight (8) measles cases were found in the city since the beginning of March. The department also advised the young children at the shelter not to attend the school on Friday or Monday.

The young child was the student of Philip D Armour Elementary School. Following the outbreak, the CEO of Chicago Public Schools – Pedro Martinez issued a letter for the families of the school students and reported, “Once a student’s vaccination status has been verified, students with confirmed vaccinations will be notified of the date to return to school.”

Along with this, the school authorities underlined that they have been working along with the health department to respond to the possible measles exposures.

In a statement, according to NBC News, the school authorities mentioned, “CPS provides multiple opportunities for vaccination as well as resources for community-based services, and we work closely with families to help them be up-to-date on all vaccinations.”

Global hike in measles cases!

The cases linked to measles have witnessed an increase across the globe. The experts have underlined that the major reason behind the decline could be a lower vaccination rate.

During the initial months of the 2024, the measles linked cases have reached up to 45 in the United States, which shows that there are high chances that it will surpass the total number of cases of 2023, i.e. 58.

Vaccination and its importance!

As per the Chicago Health Department, special dedicated teams have been screening people for measles at the migrant shelter and has been administrating vaccines since Friday. As per the stats shared by the department, as many as 900 people got vaccinated against the infection.

The shelter residents who did not receive the vaccine were recently vaccinated or were unsure about their vaccination status. They were asked to stay in quarantine for at least 21 days.

While addressing the concern, the Chicago Public Health Commissioner – Dr Simboo Ige, said, “We have advised all unvaccinated and newly vaccinated residents of the quarantine period, but some of those residents have left the shelter, and I want to acknowledge that.”

Furthermore, the authorities mentioned that the residents of the shelter have been relocated to alternative sites or hotel spaces, according to their quarantine requirements and immunity status. As per the health authorities, if an unvaccinated person will develop any sign or symptom linked to the infection, they will be administrated with MMR Vaccine which can ward off infection if given within 72 hours.

Officials have stated that migrants in additional shelters, as well as those entering Chicago as part of their intake procedure, will have access to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines.

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