Information Regarding Measles

February 06, 2015

We have gathered helpful information to assist you in learning more about measles and ways to prevent contracting this disease. "

You may have heard that the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) are investigating a cluster of measles at a learning center in Palatine involving five infants under the age of 1, who are too young to have received the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. The health and well-being of our staff, members, program members and guests is very important to us. This is why we we have assembled helpful information and steps to take should you encounter someone who may display symptoms of the disease.

We wanted you to know that the YMCA of Metro Chicago has not had any reports of measles at any of our 23 centers or early education program sites. As a protection to your family and others, we strongly urge parents who have not done so already, to have their children vaccinated, in keeping with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations.

We have gathered the following information to assist you in learning more about measles and ways to prevent contracting this disease.

Measles Information:
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that causes fever, red and sore eyes, runny nose, cough and a characteristic rash. It can spread to others through coughing and sneezing.

Measles can be serious, especially for children younger than 5 years of age. It can lead to pneumonia, encephalitis (swelling of the brain) and has been known to cause death.

According to the CDC, symptoms generally appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected and typically begin with high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. Two or three days after symptoms begin, tiny white spots may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. Infected people can spread measles to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears. For more information, visit the CDC’s website for their measles fact sheet and frequently asked questions .

If you suspect that someone in your family has been exposed, avoid spreading the illness to others by immediately calling your local health department and your healthcare provider to obtain instructions.

Local Health Departments:
Cook County Department of Public Health 847.818.4020
Dupage County Health Department 630.682.7400
Lake County Health Department 847.377.8000
McHenry County Health Department 815.334.4510
Will County Health Department 815.727.8480

We hope you find this information useful. Should you have any questions, please feel free to speak with your Center's Executive Director or you can contact DaWana Williamson, Vice President, Youth Development at 312.440.2403 or at dwilliamson@ymcachicago.org.