Illinois has its first confirmed case of the measles this year. The individual in suburban Cook County became sick in mid-January and has tested positive for measles, and may have exposed others in the Palatine area, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. Dr. Steven D. O’Marro of the Springfield Clinic says measles spreads due to lack of vaccination.
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“Approximately 28 percent of children who enter kindergarten aren’t vaccinated according to standard recommendations, and that occurs for various reasons – sometimes religious and philosophical objections, and sometimes real reasons not to vaccinate them, such as children who have acute leukemia where their immune systems are low and the measles vaccine might actually cause illness,” he said.
The vaccination or previous exposure are not 100 percent effective at preventing measles, but they are close.
There are now 100 measles cases across the country linked to an outbreak at Disneyland in California. It is not known if this Illinois case is linked. Illinois has had only 10 measles cases in the last five years.
There is no cure-all treatment for measles. The body has to fight it off itself. O’Marro says it appears vitamin A helps.