Health Department: More Than 300 People Exposed to Measles May 20-24

Health Department: More Than 300 People Exposed to Measles May 20-24

Kane County Health Department officials said today (Thursday, June 6, 2019) that they have identified more than 300 people who may have been exposed to the measles virus at six locations in central Kane County between Monday, May 20, and Friday, May 24.

Health Department officials say the case was confirmed on May 28, 2019, and is no longer infectious, but the department is continuing intensive efforts to ensure the disease is not spread.

Division Director of Disease Prevention Uche Onwuta said that, as of June 6, the Health Department is actively monitoring about 70 people daily for symptoms.

“If one of these contacts does become infected with measles, the whole process begins again, and each of that secondary case’s contacts must be identified,” she said. “Obviously, limiting the number of people being exposed to a measles case greatly reduces the chance that this virus will spread.”

The person with the confirmed measles diagnosis was at six locations during time periods listed in a chart at the bottom on this page, including the At Home store, Best Buy, Colonial Cafe and Meijer on Randall Road and Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group St. Charles offices on Foxfield Road in St. Charles.

If you were at any of the locations during the time period in the chart and are experiencing symptoms, officials suggest you call your healthcare provider before going to a medical office or emergency department so that special arrangements for evaluation can be made to protect other patients and medical staff from possible infection.

Should I Be Isolated?

If you were at the locations during those times, but are not experiencing symptoms, check your vaccination status and contact the Kane County Health Department at 630-208-3801. If you do not know your vaccination status, talk with a health care provider.

Because it is possible to spread measles up to four days prior to the onset of a rash, it is important that all people who were potentially exposed and are susceptible to the disease are quickly identified and excluded from usual activities outside the home.

That means people who were exposed should remain at home and away from non-immunized individuals for 21 days from their last potential exposure or until the Health Department notifies them that they’re cleared.

Health Department staff is reviewing records submitted by individuals and the medical community and will clear someone, releasing them from home isolation, using any one of three main criteria:

  • You were born before 1957.
  • You have proof of age-appropriate immunization.
  • You have evidence of an antibody titer test that shows your body has protection against measles from previous infection or immunization.

In the present Kane County case, someone potentially exposed on May 22 would need to stay home through June 12, or until the Health Department notifies them that they are cleared.

All potential contacts who have not been cleared by the Health Department are instructed to remain at home so they do not pass the virus on to others.

How Health Department Contains Contagious Disease

When a case of a highly contagious and potentially life-threatening disease such as measles is identified, the local health department quickly takes action to protect other residents.

The first step is to assure that the infected individual does not expose others. They may need to be isolated until they are no longer able to spread the disease.

The second step is to identify everyone who may have potentially been exposed while the infected person was still contagious, or when they could spread the illness to others.

The purpose of this is to determine if those potentially exposed individuals are experiencing symptoms that may indicate they have a measles infection and to assure they do not potentially expose others to the virus. The list of potentially exposed individuals can grow quite large, especially with a disease such as measles which is spread through the air via coughing and sneezing.

Compounding the issue is the fact that the measles virus can live in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours, so someone could be exposed to the virus even if they were never in a location at the same time as the infected individual.

Health officials say measles is a very serious and very preventable disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in five unvaccinated people in the United States who get measles will end up in the hospital. About one in 20 children that get measles will get pneumonia, the most common cause of death associated with this disease.

About two out of every 1,000 children who become infected with measles will die from complications.

Fortunately, two doses of MMR vaccine is 97 percent effective at preventing the measles disease.

What Should Kane County Residents Do?

Health officials urge everyone in Kane County to take the following actions:

  1. Make sure that you, and your children, are up to date with all of immunizations. Ask your healthcare provider if you have questions. Keep records handy, in case you need them.
  2. Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. This sounds really basic, but if you touch a surface with the virus on it, it will not infect you unless it gets into your body.
  3. Cooperate with public health efforts to stop outbreaks. Getting immunized is the best option, because it is inconvenient to be isolated at home, but compliance with public health directions could save many people from illness and even death.

For More Information

POSSIBLE EXPOSURE                    LOCATION

Monday, May 20, 2019

5:30pm-8pm

At Home (store)

2100 S. Randall Rd., Geneva, IL

Monday, May 20, 2019

5:45pm-8:05pm

Best Buy

1876 S. Randall Rd., Geneva, IL

Monday, May 20, 2019

6:05pm-9:05pm

Colonial Café

552 Randall Rd., St. Charles, IL

Monday, May 20, 2019

7:05pm-9:45pm

Meijer

855 Randall Rd., St. Charles, IL

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

11:20am-3:00pm

Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group St. Charles

2900 Foxfield Rd., St. Charles

Friday, May 24, 2019

3:30pm-6:30pm

Northwestern Medicine Regional Medical Group St. Charles

2900 Foxfield Rd., St. Charles

SOURCE: Kane County Health Department news release

Read More