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Chicago Slammed with 57 Cases of Measles in Migrant Shelters, One Case Less than Entire Country in 2023

Chicago has been slammed with nearly as many cases of measles in its migrant shelters this year than the whole country had in 2023.

City health officials reported 57 “confirmed cases” and that most of the cases have turned up across its migrant shelter system.

According to city officials, 33 cases of measles are migrant children up to the age of four, seven are from five to 17 years of age, 16 are adults between the ages of 18 and 24, and one is over 50 years of age.

Health officials also say that some residents may have been exposed to the disease on city mass transit bus and train lines, as well as various stores, clinics, and schools.

These 57 cases, mostly among the illegal border crossers being sheltered in Chicago’s migrant housing, rivals the number of measles cases reported in the entire country for 2023. Last year only 58 cases were seen in the whole of the U.S. However, there were 121 cases listed in 2022, according to WMAQ-TV.

But this year, the outbreak has exploded. As the report notes, “As of Feb. 29, a total of 41 measles cases were reported in 16 U.S. states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York City, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.”

These numbers do not include the new cases in Chicago.

Cases of measles have been relatively sparse in the U.S. for decades and the disease has been generally considered eliminated since the year 2000, meaning it does not present a meaningful threat across the country and is generally seen only when someone brings the disease in from outside the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Still, the CDC has issued a warning about the disease in an alert titled, “Increase in Global and Domestic Measles Cases and Outbreaks.”

The advisory, which is intended for public health officials and clinicians, notes that the disease is “highly contagious” and pointed out that, at the time of its writing, there has been 58 confirmed cases of the measles in the U.S. from January 1 to March 14.

This includes “seven outbreaks in seven jurisdictions compared to 58 total cases and four outbreaks reported the entire year in 2023.” Further, it noted the vast majority of the cases, 93 percent, are linked to traveling internationally.

For its part, the Illinois Department of Public Health has tried to allay fears over the contagious disease and insists that residents are at little risk.

“Most residents of Chicago and Illinois were vaccinated routinely in childhood and therefore not at high risk. Of most concern are people who have not been vaccinated. MMR vaccine is available at most medical provider’s offices and pharmacies. Illinois children as young as 7 years old can get the MMR shot at pharmacies under Illinois law,” the department concluded,” the state department insisted.

Measles is not the only highly contagious disease coursing through the Windy City’s migrant shelters. This month an outbreak of tuberculosis was also seen ravaging migrants.

Last week, the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) revealed that there is “a small number of cases” of tuberculosis (TB) “among new arrivals in a few different shelters over the course of the response.”

CDPH officials did not divulge the exact number of cases among migrants or the location of the shelters where the disease was detected.

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