Chicago, IL

News Channel Accidently Stumbles on Apparent Measles outbreak at Chicago Police District

Natalie Frank, Ph.D.

When questions were asked about notification on door of Police building, sign was quickly removed
Photo byArvell Dorseym Jr./flickr [CC BY 2.0]

An apparent measles outbreak has been discovered within the Chicago Police District, causing concern among both authorities and the public. The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) is actively investigating the situation and has taken immediate steps to contain the spread of the disease.

During a Sunday morning press briefing by the police regarding a recent mass shooting that occurred overnight, CBS 2 cameras unexpectedly came across a notice outside the 25th Police District that has raised concerns. The notice informed the community about a suspected measles outbreak within the police station and cautioned that individuals entering the building are potentially exposing themselves to the infection.

Upon discovering the outbreak, the CDPH promptly erected a notification sign at the affected police district station, aimed at informing the public about the situation and urging caution. The notification posted on the door stated, "This facility has been contaminated by a measles outbreak. By entering, you are agreeing to accept this risk."

The sign was posted after supervisors discovered three cases of measles inside the building.  However, when questions were raised regarding the outbreak and its connection to migrants, the sign notifying the public was quickly taken down.

Various police stations in Chicago, including the 25th District, have been providing shelter for asylum seekers. However, a spokesperson from the city has refuted the claims suggesting that migrants could be responsible for the alleged measles outbreak. The spokesperson emphasized that such speculations are not only unfounded but can also promote xenophobia, urging caution and discouraging the spread of inaccurate information.

After inquiries into the outbreak, a spokesperson for the city stated that while precautions had been taken it was very unlikely that there was a measles outbreak and that they do not consider this a public health crisis. The added that precautions were being taken.

Regardless, healthcare professionals stress the need for caution due to the highly contagious nature of measles, which is considered one of the most contagious diseases worldwide. The virus spreads through close or direct contact, as well as through respiratory droplets from sneezing or coughing. Measles can lead to various health complications, including severe illness and even death, particularly among individuals who have not received the necessary vaccination.

"It's not a disease to take lightly," said Dr. Katrine Wallace, from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  "You could have one to three out of 1,000 kids end up dying from measles, and it could also cause serious complications like brain swelling, which can cause permanent brain damage."

While the United States achieved the elimination of measles in 2000, sporadic cases have occurred among individuals who remain unvaccinated.

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