File Photo | Source: CDC/PHIL

Lake County health officials are urging caution to residents after several cases of measles were identified in Chicago this past week, the first in five years.

The Chicago Department of Public Health announced five cases of measles in Chicago in the past week.

The cases are the first announced since 2019 and are linked to a migrant shelter.

The Lake County Health Department said Tuesday that there have been no identified cases of measles in Lake County as of yet.

“However, it is important to be ready and protect those in our community,” the health department said in a statement to local organizations, adding that they are trying to prevent a measles outbreak in Lake County.

Measles is a highly contagious disease with serious possible complications including hospitalization, long-term illness and death.

Health officials say children and those aged 6 months and older are recommended to get a measles-mumps-rubella vaccine to help protect them from serious illness.

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Children under five years of age, adults over 20 years of age, pregnant people and people with immunocompromised health are most at risk of measles complications.

Measles infection causes a rash to appear alongside a high fever, diarrhea, coughing, runny nose and eye and ear infections.

Health officials say someone who is infected can spread the disease to other people before noticing any symptoms, especially in the four days before and after the rash develops.

Individuals with a history of prior infection or vaccination who have received the full series of measles-mumps-rubella vaccines are 97% protected and are unlikely to contract measles, according to the health department.

Health officials say people should cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze, regularly wash their hands, stay home when sick, keep distance from those who may be ill and clean things that are touched often.

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