Pilsen migrant shelter residents are being advised to get a second dose of the measles vaccine 28 days after the first vaccination, according to new health policy announced by Chicago officials. The move comes in response to an increase in measles cases among young children at the shelter on Halsted Street.

CDPH Commissioner Olusimbo Ige emphasized the importance of a second dose of the MMR vaccine for children, particularly those under five years old who are at higher risk of contracting measles despite receiving one dose. This new policy applies specifically to children aged one to five at the shelter, and families are encouraged to keep these children home until 21 days after the second dose or 21 days after their last exposure if they cannot get vaccinated. Approximately 50 children at the shelter will be affected by this new policy, all of whom have already received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Measles symptoms typically appear within a week or two after exposure to the virus and include a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red or watery eyes. A rash may develop three to five days later. The virus is highly contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing or contact with an infected person. It can remain in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area. Those with measles can spread it for up to four days before and after the rash appears, and 90% of non-immune people exposed to it become infected.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working closely with Chicago officials to respond to measles infections and ensure that appropriate measures are taken to prevent further spread of the virus.

By Samantha Johnson

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