Montreal Public Health issues another measles exposure warning

May 7 2019, 12:50 pm

For the third time this year, Montreal Public Health officials have issued a measles exposure warning to its citizens.

Doctors and nurses are to be on high alert for a disease that was eradicated in Canada in the late 90s.

The city’s public health agency says an unvaccinated person contracted the highly contagious disease after returning from a trip to Paris on April 26.

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The infected person has been in frequent contact with an unvaccinated child at an elementary school in Montreal’s Ahuntsic neighbourhood, according to Info-Santé.

There are no signs that any children from the school have contracted measles, but health officials vaccinated a dozen staff members and students to prevent against the potentially deadly disease.

The measles virus is transmitted through the air or by direct contact (face to face) with an infected person, the virus can spend up to two hours in the air before infecting someone.

Immunity to the measles virus comes by being born before 1970, having received a vaccine, or if you had contracted the disease before 1996, according to the MUHC.

Measles symptoms include fever, cough, stuffy/runny nose, red and watery eyes and small, white spots around and in the mouth. Two to four days after symptoms, a rash will appear on the face at first before extending to the extremities after three to seven days.

Measles can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis  (inflammation of the brain). Complications are more common in people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and children under one year of age.

According to a notice from the MUHC, the unvaccinated person was exposed to measles during a recent trip to France and was contagious from April 26 to May 4.

During that time the infected person flew from Paris to Montreal, then visited clinics on April 28 and 30. She also went to a hospital on May 1.

That means it’s possible someone else who has not been immunized could show up at hospitals or clinics up to May 25.

DH Montreal StaffDH Montreal Staff

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