CHICAGO (SCS) — On Sunday morning, as police briefed the media on a mass shooting that occurred overnight, CBS 2 cameras came across a notice outside the 25th Police District that some find concerning. He informed the community of an apparent measles outbreak inside the station and added that those who enter the building are putting themselves at risk.
The notice read: “This facility has been contaminated by an outbreak of measles. By entering you agree to accept this risk.”
On Sunday evening, the city responded, telling CBS 2 that it does not consider this a public health crisis.
When CBS 2 began asking about the situation, that advisory was quickly removed. On Sunday evening, the city said a measles outbreak was unlikely, but insisted it was monitoring the situation.
The city issued the following statement:
The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) continues to consult with Cook County and community health partners on the health of newcomers, and while precautions were taken this morning out of an abundance of caution, measles is currently very low. likely. Normal operations have resumed for the 25th Police District precinct. It is important to note that due to high vaccination coverage, vaccine-preventable diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, poliomyelitis, and varicella (chickenpox) are rare in the United States and most people in Chicago are protected by routine childhood vaccinations or, in some cases, childhood infections. Although this is a difficult situation, we do not consider this to be a public health crisis, and reports that migrants may be behind the spread of the disease in Chicago are inaccurate and can fuel xenophobia. The City continues to monitor the situation with its partners and provide appropriate advice and services as needed.
According to law enforcement sources, the sign, which CBS 2 first noted on Sunday morning, was posted after supervisors believed three measles cases had been reported inside the building.
Sources say a supervisor sent a message to staff alerting them to possible cases. It is not known exactly when they occurred.
“This is not a disease to be taken lightly,” said epidemiologist Dr. Katrine Wallace, of the University of Illinois at Chicago.
After CBS 2’s investigations, a city spokesperson said precautions had been taken, but called a measles outbreak “highly unlikely.”
Doctors say caution is warranted as measles is one of the world’s most contagious diseases. It is spread through close or direct contact, sneezing or coughing, and can cause many health problems, including death, in unvaccinated people. It was eliminated in the United States in 2000 and cases have been sporadic among the unvaccinated.
“You could have one to three in 1,000 children dying from measles, and it could also lead to serious complications like brain swelling, which can cause permanent brain damage,” Wallace said.
According to a medical professional CBS 2 spoke to, aside from the standard outbreak notification, the public should also be made aware of the exposure schedule if a measles outbreak is ultimately confirmed.
“It is useful to know that symptoms can, after being exposed to measles, have an incubation window of around 10 to 14 days before symptoms appear, so this is a very important thing to do. let the public know because it doesn’t show up immediately after the show,” Wallace said.
As CBS 2 reported, police stations across the city are serving as shelters for asylum seekers, including the 25th District.
A city spokesperson dismissed reports that migrants could be the source of this potential measles outbreak, adding that such claims are not only inaccurate but can fuel xenophobia.