(PALATINE, Ill.) — Five infants from a Chicago-area day care facility have been diagnosed with measles, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, adding to an outbreak toll that has already topped 100 cases nationwide.
Health officials said that five children under the age of 1 were infected after attending the KinderCare Learning Center, in Palatine, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
The current measles outbreak started in mid-December and has already infected more than 100 people in 15 states.
Infants under 12 months are particularly susceptible to the measles virus because they are not traditionally given the first doses of the vaccine until they are 1 year old.
Illinois health department officials said that the source of the measles is not yet known.
Laboratory tests confirmed two of the cases, with results for three others still pending, officials said. However, the diagnosis was made based on clinical and epidemiological criteria.
Any staff or students at the facility who have not received the measles vaccine have been asked to stay home for 21 days.
Measles is an extremely contagious virus that infects 90 percent of unprotected people when they are exposed to the virus. Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, conjunctivitis and a red rash.
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