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Migrant shelter tuberculosis cases ‘isolated,’ measles cases rise to 56


(The Center Square) – The state’s public health director said Thursday that public health officials are handling not just one but two disease outbreaks among non-citizen shelters in Chicago.

Last month, the first cases of measles were discovered at a migrant shelter in Chicago. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Sameer Vohra reported to legislators in Springfield Thursday.

“As of yesterday we had 56 cases of measles in Illinois,” Vohra said. “That is the largest number per year that we’ve had since our data from 2010.”

Vohra said measles is very serious, but spread can be controlled through quarantine and vaccinations.

“We know that it’s spread to just a few of the surrounding counties but the vast majority of those cases have been associated with the Halstead shelter,” he said.

Adding to that, are the first reports of tuberculosis at migrant shelters, something Vohra said they are working on with other officials around the state to monitor and control.

“Similarly with tuberculosis we’ve been fortunate in partnership with our health care providers in the city to not have any outbreaks just cases, isolated cases that were quickly addressed,” he said. “So as we mentioned in the beginning infectious disease continues to be a challenge”

Tuberculosis is an infectious bacterial disease that mainly affects the lungs.