CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District is reporting a second local case of measles, with both of the infected people connected to the University of Illinois.
But there’s no reason to believe they know each other since the virus lingers in the air for two hours after the infectious person has left, said health district Administrator Julie Pryde.
“Both cases in this situation were non-immune persons, but the overall Champaign-Urbana community is highly immunized,” Pryde said.
“They had been in contact with each other, in the sense that they were in the same space,” she said.
She warned against causing further infections.
“If you feel you may have measles, it is extremely important that you call your health care provider first, rather than showing up to a health care facility where additional exposures could occur,” Pryde said.
Immunization is critical, she said.
“If you or your children are not currently vaccinated against measles, it is advised that you do so now,” she said.
“One dose offers up to 93 percent protection. Two doses offer 97 percent protection,” she said.
Pryde added that these are the first measles case here since 2006.
“Thankfully, we live in a highly immunized community. That’s why it doesn’t go wild like a brush fire. There are not that many in our community that are not vaccinated,” she said.
At the UI community, out of 44,000 students, only about 200 aren’t immunized, Pryde said.
She contrasted the situation here with that of the Pacific Northwest: At least 44 people in Washington’s Clark County, and in nearby Portland, Ore., have been infected with measles recently.
She said Illinois schools have established programs for prevention.
“Measles vaccines are highly effective and safe. Most people are vaccinated routinely, in childhood, starting at age 1 and are not at high risk for infection,” she said.
“If you are not vaccinated, you need to reconsider,” Pryde said.
UI students who have symptoms should contact McKinley Health Center.
Easily spotted symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. The infection can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain), the health district noted.
It is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
Possible sites of measles exposure
URBANA — Public health officials have released possible measles exposure sites for the second person confirmed to be infected:
➜ Jan. 18: 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois.
➜ Jan. 27 to 31: Maywood Apartment Building, 51 E. John St., C.
➜ Jan. 28: 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at UI School of Social Work.
➜ Jan. 29: 3 to 6 p.m. at UI School of Social Work.
➜ Jan. 31: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Carle Foundation Hospital Emergency Department.