ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A measles epidemic is sweeping the country. The Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA) says it will do whatever it takes to keep it from spreading here.
Of the more than 600 cases of measles nationwide, only seven have broken out here. But, one health director says the state should be doing more to prevent the virus from spreading.
IPHA is asking the state to ramp up measles vaccines. The association’s director, Tom Hughes, says he wants to have an information crusade to educate parents and school employees about vaccines.
Hughes wants to work with agencies statewide to busy myths about early vaccinations in women and children. He wants to focus on working with school districts to get children vaccinated before entering school.
Though the goal is to reach everyone, he does have two groups in mind he looks forward to reaching: religious schools and minority communities.
Hughes adds his goal is to have the campaign wrapped up before the next school year begins. Of course, doing so is not free. IPHA is asking for a $3 million grant from the state to cover the campaign cost.
There have been seven cases of measles in Illinois. Public health says four happened in Champaign County and the rest were outside Chicago.
The nation is currently seeing the worst measles outbreak since the U.S. declared the disease eliminated in 2000.