One Case Of Measles Confirmed In Champaign County

Champaign-Urbana Public Health District office building.

Offices of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District in Champaign.

CU Citizen Access

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District has reported one local case of the highly contagious measles virus. Public health officials say the patient was admitted to the emergency room Jan. 19, and tests confirmed Wednesday that the patient had the infection.

The Health District sent out a list of locations  the patient had visited between Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, and where the patient may have possibly exposed others to the virus. Those locations included the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Champaign, buildings on the University of Illinois campus and the Carle Foundation Hospital emergency room. But Health District epidemiologist Awais Vaid said there is no longer a risk to the public of being exposed to the virus at those sites.

“The measles virus basically only lives in the air or in the environment for about two hours. Once the person is not in that place, in the next two hours, the place becomes actually safe,” Vaid said.

Measles is highly contagious when an infected person is in the environment. According to the CDC, if a person has measles, 90 percent of unvaccinated people close to them will also become infected. Most people receive the MMR vaccine against measles at a young age, making the risk of contracting the infection very low.

“It’s (the vaccine’s) almost 97 or 98 percent effective if you’ve taken the two doses,” Vaid said. “If there’s anybody out there that has not taken the vaccine and can get it, then they should.”

Symptoms of measles can appear 10 to 14 days after exposure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Symptoms include fever, dry cough, runny nose, sore throat and red or inflamed eyes. Complications from the disease, such as swelling of the brain, can be deadly.

The Health District says no other cases of measles have been reported in Champaign County at this time.

Story source: WILL