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Potential Measles Outbreak: A Cause For Concern in Milwaukee

Barabas Attila,

Public health officials in the Chicago area on Friday cautioned people that they may have been exposed to measles if they visited a local Menards store, a laundromat or a health clinic in one Lake County community. 

So far, the latest outbreak of the once-contained disease – which has caused many illnesses on the West Coast – hasn’t impacted Wisconsin to a significant degree. 

City and school leaders in Milwaukee are working to keep the disease from reappearing here. Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service reporter Edgar Mendez looked into Milwaukee's efforts against measles.

Mendez talked to Lake Effect's Mitch Teich about why some families may not have had their children immunized.

"It's due to access issues," said Mendez. "You look at low income populations, they move around more. It takes longer for their records to get here."

Mendez points out that people may not be equipped to manage the virus because "it has been so long since we've had a huge measles outbreak." Many of the most prevalent illnesses only garner attention and concern when they've been brought to the public's attention. "People have lost the collective memory of how bad measles can be," he said.

Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, or NNS, is an online source for objective, professional multimedia reporting on issues in 18 central city Milwaukee communities.