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Officials warn of potential measles exposure at Loop restaurant

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Public health officials are warning people who recently dined at a restaurant in the Loop that they may have been exposed to measles after another customer contracted the highly contagious virus.

Customers who dined at Honeygrow, 70 E. Lake St., between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday may have been exposed to the virus, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health. Honeygrow has cooperated with the CDPH’s investigation and there is no ongoing risk at the restaurant.

“Honeygrow handles any health risk with extreme precaution and has taken proactive measures to ensure the safety of our guests and team,” Justin Rosenberg, Honeygrow CEO and founder, said in an emailed statement Sunday. “Fortunately and as mentioned by the Chicago Department of Public Health, the measles is not a food borne illness. That said, we are treating the situation with absolute severity, including dispatching our internal and third-party partners to ensure the safety and sterility of our Lake Street location.”

The CDPH has already begun reaching out to Chicagoans who were at risk of exposure. Of most concern are pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems and those who haven’t been vaccinated, the agency said. People who think they’ve been exposed to measles should contact their health care provider about protection through prior vaccination and notify the CDPH.

Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes, the CDPH said. If a person develops those symptoms, the agency recommends calling a health care provider before seeking emergency assistance. Special arrangements can be made for an evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from infection.

“This is an important reminder to make sure that individuals and their family member are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations,” according to CDPH Commissioner Julie Morita, M.D. “When you have that protection, you are also helping to protect others who can’t get vaccinated, such as infants under six months of age or those with weakened immune systems.”

For more information about measles, visit the CDPH website. Restaurant customers who think they may have been exposed call the CDPH’s immunization program at (312) 746-6344 during weekday hours. Otherwise, call 311 and ask for the communicable disease physician on call.