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The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a surge in measles cases, including 57 cases associated with a migrant shelter in Chicago, Illinois, according to a new CDC report. It previously recorded 97 confirmed cases in the first quarter of 2024. It’s a significant uptick when compared to the average of 5 cases during the first quarters of 2020-2023. Almost all recent cases were among the unvaccinated. Among the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 53 member states, 33 have eliminated measles, but their status could change as cases rise. Even so, the risk for catching the highly contagious measles virus remains low, and the relative number of cases is small.

What to look for: Very few urgent care clinicians have ever seen a patient with measles, so recognizing measles cases may be especially challenging. CDC offers a few example images of measles rashes on the body to help with identification here, and the National Health Service in the United Kingdom offers images here.

Clinicians May Not Recognize Rare Measles Cases