Measles Cases Rising Slowly in Ontario

Hamilton Public Health Services is the latest authority to say it has received a confirmed case of measles in a child who lives in the city.

The illness was acquired during recent travel to India and the individual is currently isolating at home.

The health unit says it has investigated, and is following up directly with known contacts in Hamilton who may have been exposed through the individual. Hamilton Public Health Services has also followed up with other appropriate jurisdictions regarding possible exposures outside of the city.

Officials say exposures include passengers arriving at Pearson Airport on Saudia Flight S-V 61 from Saudi Arabia on March 5th, and passengers who were at Pearson terminal three between 3:24 p-m and 8:30 p-m are also warned that they may have been exposed to the virus.

The authority says it is not aware of any additional exposure locations in Hamilton at this time.

As of yesterday, there have been eight lab-confirmed cases of measles reported in Ontario since the start of the year. Six cases were associated with travel while the other two occurred in the community.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a respiratory virus. It spreads easily to those who are not vaccinated against it or who have not previously had measles. Infants under one year of age, pregnant people, and people with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk of severe complications.

Measles symptoms begin 7 to 21 days after infection and may include:

-High fever of 38.8°C (101°F) or greater
-Cough
-Runny nose
-Drowsiness
-Irritability
-Red, watery eyes
-Small white spots with white centres, known as Koplik’s spots, on the inside of the mouth and throat
-Red, blotchy rash three to seven days after symptoms start

 

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