Report: 84% of Chicago’s Measles Cases Traced to Venezuelan Migrants

A group of migrants, mostly Venezuelans, walk across the Darien Gap from Colombia into Pan
Fernando Vergara/AP

A report from the Centers for Disease Control has linked 84 percent of Chicago’s recent cases of measles back to the wave of illegal aliens from Venezuela.

The report found that 84 percent of the identified cases were found in illegal aliens from Venezuela who were unvaccinated and can be traced to a single migrant boy who arrived in Chicago with the communicable disease, according to the Daily Mail.

Fifty-seven cases were found in the same migrant shelter in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood, the CDC added.

But Venezuela was not the only traced source of cases. The organization also noted that sixteen percent of the cases in Chicago could be traced back to people who contracted the disease in Peru and Chile.

After the migrant child was taken from the shelter to a hospital on February 27, Chicago health authorities acted to contain the illness. By May 13, the city identified 57 cases of measles among migrants living in the shelter.

Most of the migrants who came down with measles were from Venezuela. But authorities also found four patients from Peru, two from Ecuador, and one from Chile. A final case was found in a patient who would not reveal his place of origin. #0 of those sickened were women and 27 were men and patients ranged in age between six months to 49 years of age.

The Pilsen shelter has been used to house about 2,100 people since February.

As of May 16, according to the CDC, a total of 139 cases of measles have been reported in 21 U.S. states. The bulk of those cases have been located in Illinois, with most being in the Chicago area.

The number seen already this year is a hefty hike in cases since 2020, when only 13 cases were reported in the country. There were 49 cases in 2021 and 58 in 2023, but there was also a spike in 2022 when 121 cases were reported.

Despite the direct connection of cases to migrants, the City of Chicago health commissioner told Windy City residents there is no fear of any wider outbreak.

However, Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez criticized the city that there was an outbreak at all among the migrant shelters, and said that it could all have been avoided “if we had simply instituted the American standard of vaccines upon all of those migrants being shipped to the City of Chicago.”

“I don’t know how much our Department of Public Health or our other officials are listening to the alarms that we’ve been raising since August of last year, and even in September, when we had receipts from our ambulances showing that we had individuals testing positive for tuberculosis,” Lopez said in April. “This is a crisis we could have avoided, just like with the measles, if we had simply instituted the American standard of vaccines upon all of those migrants being shipped to the City of Chicago. Many of these individuals come with children, they are in our schools, and all of those vaccination requirements that our kids are responsible for are waived for the migrant asylum seeker children. And that is putting people, families, and communities at risk”

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