United States: Consequently, Chicago has recently been one more city within the US which is now at the center of the measles’ pandemic outbreak.

In line with the last public health department report of Chicago City, this number has grown to 8 people. Nevertheless, even adults and children are affected by this respiratory syndrome outbreak. Hence, measles spreads very quickly in the community due to contagion.

Noticing the gravity of the incident, the federal health office, CDC, has already started a team to work with the local public health officers at the earliest to contain the outbreak. The team was on the infected site on Tuesday and prepared to face the challenge of the situation.

According to CDC data, at least 45 measles cases have been reported across 17 states so far this year, as ABC News reported.

Due to delays in reporting national data, this number does not include the current outbreak in Chicago. However, it is now close to the total number of cases, 58, reported last year.

Measles cases were eliminated in 2000

In order to eradicate measles, there was huge vaccination worldwide, which in turn left most Americans immune to the disease in 2000.

Nevertheless, in the last few years, vaccination rates have fallen, and due to the unvaccinated or under-vaccinated groups in certain communities, there have been sporadic outbreaks spanning across the US.

Moreover, as ABC News reported, public health experts say these localized outbreaks are likely hard to contain.

According to ABC News reports, Dr. Jennifer Grant, an infectious disease physician and system medical director for infection prevention and control at Endeavor Health in the greater Chicago area, said, “As an infection control practitioner and a physician, I just feel like … you’re kind of always waiting for the next measles outbreak.”

“It just feels like we have a perfect storm of declining vaccination, that there is always a possibility that a measles outbreak could happen anywhere,” added Grant.

Measles case incidences in Chicago

Visual Representation | Credit : Adobe Stock

According to the CDPH, the first measles case in Chicago was confirmed on March 7. It was a city resident whose source of infection is yet unknown.

Moreover, health officials said that seven cases have been confirmed since then at a new arrivals shelter in Pilsen, on the city’s lower west side.

Symptoms and vaccination of measles

Visual Representation | Credit : Shutterstock

According to the experts, as it can take about 11 to 12 days for someone to be exposed and develop symptoms, it might take some time to see the full impact of the outbreak.

Dr. Aniruddha Hazra, an associate professor of medicine in the section of infectious diseases and global health at UChicago Medicine, said, “I think it is safe to say that the majority of those who have come down with cases of measles are unvaccinated,” as ABC News reported.

“I think the big concern is that this is not telling us the fuller picture of the current outbreak in Chicago, and likely there are potentially more cases and … likely more exposures in the city,” added Hazra.

The CDPH said a CDC team has already been sent to Chicago this week to support land, provide guidance for monitoring symptoms to local officials, advise regarding quarantine or isolation practices, and support the ongoing vaccination campaign.

Hazra said, “Contact tracing is backbreaking work; it takes a lot of time, a lot of manpower to get done,” and, “There is a significant benefit for contact tracing and case investigation with measles, just given the prolonged incubation period and the time between when someone is exposed to when someone actually presents with symptoms and then can be contagious or transmissible to others.”

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