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Potential measle exposure prompts warning

Edmonton resident hospitalized with measles

By: Amy Crofts

  |  Posted: Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 04:15 pm

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Alberta Health Services officials have confirmed an Edmonton resident has been hospitalized with measles and are warning residents of potential exposure sites.

Individuals who were at the following locations may have been exposed to measles:

• Between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on April 11 at Bon Accord Foods (4915 - 50 St., Bon Accord).

• Between 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 13 until 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 15 at the Redwater Health Centre.

AHS also issued an alert last week for passengers and crew on Air Canada flight AC 248 departing Vancouver on April 9 at 8:30 p.m. and arriving at Edmonton International Airport at 9:35 p.m. The advisory extends to members of the public who were in the Edmonton International Airport between the hours of 9:35 p.m. on April 9 and 2 a.m. April 10.

AHS advises that if you were at these locations during these dates and times and have not already had measles or have not received two doses of the measles vaccine, you may be at risk for developing measles.

To date, there have been 16 cases of measles this year in the province.

There are more cases in the Edmonton zone this year compared to last year, said Dr. Marcia Johnson, medical officer of health for the Edmonton zone. So far three have been confirmed – two people contracted measles while in the Edmonton zone, as opposed to travelling, she said.

“Measles is tremendously contagious. It will find people in your population that aren’t immunized if given half a chance,” she said.

“That half a chance means that if the immunization rate in your population even falls below 95 per cent, then measles can occur. If you have high immunization rates in your population then it’s really difficult for any imported cases of measles to get a foothold and spread.”

As stated in a performance report by Alberta Health Services, in 2012 the immunization rate for measles, mumps and rubella for children at two years of age was 84.3 per cent. The provincial target was 98 per cent.

Symptoms of measles include a fever of 38.3 C or higher, cough, runny nose and/or red eyes, and a red blotchy rash that appears three to seven days after fever starts. The rash begins behind the ears and on the face and spreads down the body and then to the arms and legs.

There is no treatment for measles but it can be prevented through immunization, which is offered for free in Alberta.

Children typically receive their first dose of measles vaccine at 12 months of age and their second dose between the ages of four and six years.

If you have symptoms of the measles, AHS advises you to stay home and call Health Link Alberta (1-866-408-5465) before visiting any health-care facility or provider.


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