Chicago-area measles cases put spotlight on day care centers

CHICAGO (AP) — Measles infections in five babies at a suburban Chicago day care center reveal a potential weak link in efforts to contain the disease.

Public health experts say that’s because day care infants are too young to be vaccinated and in close quarters where germs can spread. That makes them vulnerable to the virus.

Chicago infectious disease specialist Dr. Tina Tan says the infants are “sort of like the canary in the mine.”

State regulations in Illinois and elsewhere generally require vaccinations for older children in day care centers, but measles shots are not recommended for children under age 1. And like most states, Illinois does not require vaccinations for day care center staffers.

The cases are among more than 100 nationwide this year, most linked with a Disneyland outbreak.

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