Second case of measles confirmed in McDonough County

A West Central Illinois health organization said Wednesday that it has confirmed a second case of measles in the Tri-States. The McDonough County Health Department received confirmation that a second case of measles was diagnosed.

The health department learned that the second individual attended the Bushnell vs. Macomb Junior High Volleyball game on February 25 in Bushnell.

The person was was initially identified through a letter to the Bushnell and Macomb schools as a suspected case, but it has now been confirmed and an additional letter has been sent to the school to notify parents.

If you were at the game and were born after 1956, the McDonough County Health Department wants you to make sure you have been vaccinated and received two measles/mumps/rubella vaccinations (MMR) or have had the measles. If you were born after 1956 and do not have a record of two MMR vaccinations or the history of having the disease, the health department ask that you contact them at 309-837-9951.

You'll remember that the health department previously reached out to anyone who was in the McDonough District Hospital emergency room and waiting area on February 16 between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. or Guadalajaraâ??s Mexican Restaurant on February 18 between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. in regards to the first case of measles in McDonough County, Ill. If that includes you, they ask that you contact the health department as soon as possible at 309-837-9951.

The McDonough County Health Department is open Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. If you have already been contacted by the health department or McDonough District Hospital, you may disregard their request.

Children are at the highest risk for contracting the virus, especially those who have not received the proper vaccinations. According to Lynnette Cale, an administrator with the McDonough County Health Department, children typically receive their first measles vaccine around the age of 12 to 15 months. A second vaccine is usually administered around a child's 2nd or 3rd birthday, or at a later date before the age of 5.

Measles is a viral illness characterized by fever, malaise, cough, runny nose and pink eye, follow by a full-body rash. The rash usually appears 14 days after exposure and spreads from head to toe.

Measles is considered a mild or moderately severe illness. It can result in ear infections, pneumonia or death.

The disease is spread by breathing, coughing or sneezing.

Health officials in McDonough County stressed that vaccination can prevent measles or the spread of the disease.