Communication, Vaccine Clinics Help Ease Measles Concerns at Elgin Community College

Communication, Vaccine Clinics Help Ease Measles Concerns at Elgin Community College

Frequent communications with Elgin Community College’s 11,000 students as well as two onsite measles vaccine clinics are helping to ease concerns at Elgin Community College after health officials confirmed last week that a student had contracted the disease.

Kane County Health Department officials conducted the first of two measles clinics Friday (Feb. 13, 2015) at the college and will conduct a second clinic Tuesday. The sessions will administer up to 200 vaccinations to students and faculty who likely were exposed to the disease. The clinic is not open to the general public.

Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers said the Friday clinic went well.

“ECC was very accommodating and provided the Health Department with all of the necessary facilities and support,” Jeffers said Friday. “Those who received vaccine today appeared to really appreciate (the free service) we were were providing.”

Cook County health officials confirmed last week that a Chicago student who attends the community college had been diagnosed with measles. On Thursday, Kane County Health Department officials received 200 doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine from the Illinois Department of Public Health, which the Health Department is offering to students and faculty who were present when the student attended ECC on Tuesday, Feb. 3, and Thursday, Feb. 5.

The MMR vaccine offered at the clinics does not “cure” the measles, but it can reduce the severity of the symptoms and possibly reduce the ability to spread it to other people, Health Department spokesman Tom Schlueter said.

ECC officials also are being credited by students and staff with effective communications since the case was first diagnosed. The college’s website immediately posted information on its website, and students in an NBC report said they’ve received multiple email updates from the school during the past week.

Jeffers said Kane County probably will not use all 200 doses in the two clinics, since many of the adults who had come into contact with the student had already been immunized. Most reports about the spread of the disease — in California and at a Chicago-area daycare facility — involved children who had not been immunized.

Jeffers underlined, however, that the disease is very contagious, and there is still “a high probability” that the Chicago area will see more in the coming weeks. As of Friday, 13 measles cases had been reported in the Chicago area.

Read More

Sign Up For Kane County Connects!