Metro-East News

Two people with measles traveled through Chicago airport on the same day

Travelers check and walk in Terminal 1 at O’Hare International Airport. Two people with measles traveled through the airport the Jan. 9.
Travelers check and walk in Terminal 1 at O’Hare International Airport. Two people with measles traveled through the airport the Jan. 9. AP

The second case of measles this year in the state has been confirmed by officials at the Illinois Department of Public Health.

While both people infected with the virus traveled through Chicago O’Hare International Airport on the same day, authorities say the cases are unrelated.

The second case involved an infected person who was in Terminal 5 between 8:30 a.m. and noon on Jan. 9. That person also visited the Concourse Office Plaza at 4709 Golf Road in Skokie on Jan. 10 before receiving care at emergency departments at NorthShore Evanston Hospital, NorthShore Skokie Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital on Jan. 10 through Jan. 13.

The second measles case was reported to state officials on Jan. 14.

The first reported case in 2018 involved a passenger on a flight that landed at Terminal 5 Wednesday morning. That person then departed on a domestic flight out of Terminal 1 and the public was made aware of that incident on Jan. 15.

The measles virus can infect another person for two hours after an infected person leaves the area, the IDPH says, because the virus can live in the air or on surfaces for that long. It is spread easily by coughs and sneezes.

Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. The health department recommends anyone with these symptoms call a health care professional before going to the doctor or to a hospital.

The measles vaccine is typically given at one year of age to children in the United States.

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