Health Alerts

Skokie Health Department has vaccine to protect against Mumps:  August 6, 2015

As you have probably heard, there is an outbreak of mumps in Illinois that is associated with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Campus.

Mumps can be prevented with a safe and effective vaccine.

The University and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are recommending a third dose of Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine for students and parents who will be visiting or attending the UIUC campus this fall. According to IDPH, it is crucial for the university community to get the extra MMR vaccine to stop the spread of the disease.

The Village of Skokie Health Department can provide MMR vaccine for adults and students who need to be immunized. There is a cost of $59. If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to be vaccinated, please call 847.933.8252 during normal business hours. 

About Mumps
Mumps is a contagious disease that spreads through saliva or mucus. The virus can be transmitted though coughing, sneezing or kissing as well as through shared cups, eating utensils, toothbrushes, cigarettes or through objects that were touched with unwashed hands.

People infected with mumps often have a fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swollen and sore glands under the ears or jaw. Some people who get mumps do not have symptoms. Others may feel sick but will not have swollen glands. Symptoms usually surface 16 to 18 days after infection. The person with mumps is most contagious 2 days before he or she actually becomes ill and for 5 days after.

In addition to vaccination, it is also recommended that people take care to wash hands more frequently, not share eating utensils or cigarettes, clean frequently touched surfaces and avoid contact with others when ill.

- An Ebola message from the Skokie Director of Health -

Dear Skokie Resident,

I am certain that you have heard a great deal about Ebola in the news.  I want to assure you that the Village of Skokie is working closely with many partners to ensure that we are prepared to address Ebola if needed.  Our partners include hospitals, health care providers, emergency management agencies, and schools.

At this time there have been no Ebola cases in Illinois.  The Health Department has been in frequent communication with our public health colleagues at the local, state and federal levels, to ensure that appropriate procedures are followed to protect the residents of Skokie and the Chicago metropolitan area.

For your information links to current important materials pertaining to Ebola are provided below.  Of course if you have any questions or concerns please contact the Skokie Health Department at 847/933-8252.


Catherine A. Counard, MD, MPH

Skokie Director of Health

Important Ebola Information Links

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Announces Plans for an Ebola Hotline

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck today is announcing plans to stand up a hotline later this week to answer questions the public may have about Ebola. 

“Although, to date, there have been no persons in Illinois under investigation for suspected Ebola that has warranted testing, we understand there is concern and people have many questions.  IDPH will be setting up a hotline to help provide answers to questions the public may have, including who may be infected with Ebola, how is it spread and what can I do to avoid it.

“After this morning's announcement of a second health care worker at a Texas hospital who provided care for the first U.S. Ebola victim preliminarily tested positive for Ebola, I would like to reassure Illinoisans that IDPH continues to work closely with hospitals and local health departments to provide guidance to quickly identify any potential cases of Ebola and contain any possible spread.

“The situation in Texas is being investigated to determine how the transmission of Ebola occurred.  Information learned by hospital, state and federal officials will be used to inform our efforts in Illinois to help prevent a similar situation here.

“We will continue to communicate with the public and will report any suspected or confirmed Ebola case in Illinois.”

For the most up to date information on the Ebola virus, visit:

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Outlines Ebola Preparedness in Illinois

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), today briefed the media and public about the state’s preparedness efforts should a case of Ebola be suspected or confirmed in Illinois.  At this time, there are no suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola in Illinois.

“I want to reassure the people of Illinois that the state is reviewing and confirming protocols and plans already in place to ensure our public health systems is able to quickly identify a potential case, evaluate the person and isolate them if needed, implement infection control practices, conduct contact tracing of people potentially exposed to a suspected case, submit specimens for laboratory testing and provide care for the patient,” said Dr. Hasbrouck.  “If there is a suspected or confirmed case of Ebola in Illinois, we will immediately inform the public and provide as much information as possible.”

It is important to remember that Ebola is NOT an airborne infection.  Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola.  A person who is not experiencing symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, cannot transmit the virus. 

Any Illinois hospital following CDC's infection control recommendations and can isolate a patient in a private room‎ is capable of safely managing a patient with Ebola. 

Handling disease outbreaks is a core public health function and the state is prepared to conduct surveillance for possible cases, implement infection control measures, support medical facilities, perform contact tracing and assist with laboratory testing.  IDPH will continue to work with the CDC, local health departments, hospitals and medical facilities.

Preparedness steps IDPH has taken to prepare for a suspect or confirm Ebola case in Illinois:

  • Provided guidance on laboratory specimen submission and case management.
  • Tested established public health systems to ensure contact tracing is readily available.
  • Confirmed plans to establish an Ebola hotline should one be needed.
  • Created a web portal with information for IDPH health care partners.
  • Completed a CDC online assessment of our emergency preparedness and response activities related to Ebola.
  • Participated in national Ebola-related teleconferences.

IDPH will continue to provide all updated CDC guidance through SIREN (State of Illinois Rapid Electronic Notification) to appropriate audiences (Infection Control Professionals, Infectious Disease Physicians, Laboratories, Local Health Departments, Health Care Providers, Health Care Facilities, EMS Systems).

For the most up to date information visit