Suffredin- An Advocate for All of Us  

Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine


  Office phone numbers:  

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.


Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

  Cook County was created on January 15, 1831 and named after Daniel P. Cook, Member of Congress and the first Attorney from the State of Illinois.

Measles has turned up in Cook County. Here's what you need to know.

Friday, March 29, 2019
Chicago Tribune
by By Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas•

After a case of the measles was confirmed in Cook County, doctors want to be sure Chicagoans are well-informed about who might be at risk.

Because measles is one of the most infectious viruses, an outbreak can happen quickly, although there is not currently an outbreak in Cook County, said Dr. Tina Tan, an infectious disease specialist at Lurie Children's Hospital.


“It would require more cases, and we don’t know whether or not there will be more cases, because this individual traveled out of the country and brought it back,” Tan said. “An outbreak is more the number of cases in an area than an absolute number.”

How people can get measles — and avoid getting it

Measles is transmitted through respiratory droplets, such as when a person sneezes or coughs, Tan said. It’s so contagious that, if present in a household setting, 95 percent of those who are not vaccinated will contract the virus, she explained.

In the U.S., most people are vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella together, using what’s known as the MMR vaccine, with two shots, the first typically administered when a child is 12 months old and the second between 4 and 6 years old.

“The vaccine is very effective. The first dose is 93 percent effective and two doses are 99 percent effective,” Tan said.

Tan said that vaccines are safe and she attributes the increase in outbreaks to the circulation of false information, or the thought that the measles isn’t that serious of a disease because people got it in the past and didn’t die, she said.

Measles case rattles North Shore as business owners contend with a trail of exposure »

Do adults need to be revaccinated?

Generally, if you’ve had the two-dose MMR vaccine as a child, that provides immunity for life.

However, some versions of the vaccination administered in the early years after its 1963 introduction are considered to be less effective than others. It was not uncommon for families to rely on exposure as a means to becoming immune, since once you’ve had

measles you are immune, Grant said.

Those born before 1957 also are generally considered immune because of outbreaks of the measles that exposed wide swaths of the population.

However, if there is an outbreak in your community and you aren’t sure if you’ve had the measles or a vaccination, a blood test can determine your immunity, or you can have the vaccination administered, Tan said.

A growing danger from measles outbreaks

One confirmed case of the measles in a county as populous as Cook isn’t cause for panic, but it does represent a shift, said Dr. Erik Johnson, a pediatrician with AMITA Health.

“One confirmed case is more than what we’re used to, since there was a period of time when we thought we had just about eradicated measles,” Johnson said.

Dr. Tan said in 2017 there were 120 cases of measles reported nationwide and 372 in 2018.

“Now, for 2019, just at the end of March we’re already at 314 cases,” she said. “That’s just for the first quarter, so you can imagine that we’re going to have a record number of measles cases this year.”

Dr. Frank Belmonte, with Advocate Children’s Hospital, said there have been at least five measles cases in Illinois already this year, and a number of outbreaks in other states.

Measles can be serious — but check before going to the hospital

Measles can look like many other common viral illnesses, said Dr. Jennifer Grant, with NorthShore University HealthSystem. That can include fever, cough, red or irritated eyes, runny nose, some congestion and a sore throat or headache. Three to five days later is when rash sets in; it usually starts on the face and progresses downward, she said.

If you believe you may have been exposed to or might have measles, you should always call a hospital before showing up to an emergency room, because just showing up can spread the disease, Tan said.

“Always call first — that’s not just at Lurie, that’s for all hospitals,” she said. “They would need to make special arrangements, which involves putting the patient in a negative-pressure room and ensuring they don’t risk exposing people waiting in the ER.”

What parents of young children can do

Grant said there can be concern for children who have not yet had their first MMR vaccine.

If your child has had the first MMR shot but has not yet had the second, it is safe to have the second vaccination administered before age 4, Johnson said, so long as more than one month has passed since the first shot.

“The first thing you should do is consult with your pediatrician. It is a requirement by the time you enter into kindergarten, but it can be done earlier,” he said. “Especially if this is happening in your community or you’re worried about exposure.”

Children less than 1 year old who have not yet had their first MMR vaccine can be at heightened risk, Grant said.

It is safe to give the MMR vaccine as early as six months, but that vaccination does not count toward the two a child must have before starting school, Tan said. She said it also explains why “herd immunity” is so important.

“In a community, 95 percent of individuals have to be vaccinated in order to maintain population immunity, that’s herd immunity, in which you basically can stop the spread and transmission of an infectious disease. With measles it tends to be very high because it’s very contagious,” she said.

Dangers to those already sick or immune-compromised

Those who are immune-compromised may not be able to have the vaccine. That includes those who were born with certain conditions as well as those who are battling cancer, for example, Belmonte said.

Aging adults and anyone with a serious health condition should ask a doctor about the safest course of action.

“That’s why herd immunity is so important,” Tan said. “These individuals can’t get the vaccine so they rely on the individuals who can to do so to protect them. Being able to get it and choosing not to is very much a selfish viewpoint.”

Chicago Tribune’s Lisa Schencker and Kate Thayer contributed.

Recent Headlines

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Special to

Cook County Assessor’s Office Publicly Releases Residential Assessment Code and Models
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Special to

EDITORIAL: Long in the MWRD pipeline, IG plan needs a yes vote
Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County Health Cuts Ribbon on Outpatient Center in Arlington Heights
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Daily Herald

Celebrate Earth Day with the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Special to

Homeowners in Chicago have just a few weeks to get current on their 2017 property taxes - or risk losing their homes. WBEZ’s Odette Yousef reports.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
WBEZ Chiacgo Public Radio

Editorial: The Foxx-Smollett questions for Inspector General Blanchard
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Cook County pet owners warned of spring coyote dangers
Monday, April 15, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County inspector general to review prosecutors' handling of Jussie Smollett case
Saturday, April 13, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Foxx requests Cook County IG investigation into handling of Jussie Smollett case
Friday, April 12, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

A challenge to one of Chicago's biggest draws for companies
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

What Evanston's assessments tell us about the new assessor's new math
Friday, April 12, 2019
Crain's Chicago Business

$3.85 million granted in lawsuit against ex-Cook County forest preserve worker charged in fatal on-the-job crash
Thursday, April 11, 2019
Chicago Tribune

A Day in the Life of a Cook County Burn Crew
Wednesday, April 10, 2019

EDITORIAL: Splitting up the region’s sanitation board is an idea that stinks
Monday, April 08, 2019
Chicago Sun-Times

Lawmakers Look To Keep 10-Year-Olds Out Of Jail
Thursday, April 04, 2019

Property Tax Workshops Help Homeowners Appeal Assessments
Wednesday, April 03, 2019
Evanston RoundTable

Large crowds of Evanston residents turn out to appeal property tax assessments
Tuesday, April 02, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Family of slain cabbie accuses Cook County state's attorney's office of dodging FOIA request
Monday, April 01, 2019
Chicago Tribune

Property Tax Appeal Seminar Set For New Trier Township Residents
Monday, April 01, 2019
Journal and Topics Online

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.