4 more children and woman from Pilsen migrant shelter are hospitalized

Four girls, ages 1, 4, 8 and 9, and a woman, 18, were taken to hospitals with fever and vomiting Monday, a day after a 5-year-old boy died after becoming ill at the shelter.

SHARE 4 more children and woman from Pilsen migrant shelter are hospitalized
A Chicago Fire Department ambulance.

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Four more children and a woman were hospitalized Monday after becoming ill at a migrant shelter in Pilsen where a 5-year-old boy who died a day earlier had been staying.

Four girls, ages 1, 4, 8 and 9, and an 18-year-old woman were transported to hospitals at different times Monday morning with fever and vomiting, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

Their conditions weren’t immediately known.

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Langford said the fire department received “some other calls” Monday reporting illness at the shelter at Cermak Road and Halsted Street, where migrants have complained about overcrowded and unsanitary conditions.

The five hospitalizations come a day after Jean Carlos Martinez fell ill and was taken to Comer Children’s Hospital, where he died. Autopsy results were inconclusive and pending further review, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

The Pilsen facility is a converted warehouse that opened in early October and has since become the most crowded shelter in the city, holding more than 2,000 people.

It is run by Favorite Healthcare Staffing, a Kansas-based contractor the city has awarded close to $100 million to run shelters since September 2022, shortly after the first buses carrying migrants began arriving.

Langford said the fire department sent a district chief to the shelter Monday “to see what’s happening” and is awaiting his report.

Contributing: Michael Loria

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