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Province dealing with 2 measles cases

By CJ Goater Feb 22, 2024 | 2:42 PM

If you plan on travelling out of the country soon, you may want to check to make sure your measles vaccine is up to date

Public Health Ontario has announced that 2 children are dealing with measles. 1 child is located in Peel and the other, an infant, is located in Toronto.

Both children have recently travelled out of the country, highlighting a risk of international travel.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection with symptoms including red rash, fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and fatigue. It spreads through the air and close contact, such as breathing, coughing or sneezing. With that being said vaccinations are highly effective in preventing the spread of measles.

“Cases of measles have been on the rise globally and we’ve seen an increase in travel-related cases being reported in other areas of Ontario as well as Minnesota,” explained The Northwestern Health Unit’s Acting Manager of Infectious Diseases, Sandra Krikke. “Although there are no confirmed cases in our region, with an increase of people travelling, there is a real risk that measles or other diseases could be brought back to our area.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a decline in vaccine coverage rates in school-aged children including for routine vaccinations for measles, highlighting the significance of the current enforcement of the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA) that is currently underway in health units across the province.

The Chief Medical Officer of Ontario Dr. Kieran Moore has issued a memo to all of the public health units in the province reminding them of the importance of ensuring and educating their communities on the importance of keeping up their vaccines.

“We are coming into a season in Canada and Ontario where March break; a lot of families choose to take vacations outside of Ontario, and I would urge families, primary care physicians and of course, public health units who have already received that directive from the Chief Medical Officer of Health to keep those vaccines up to date,” said Ontario’s Minister of Health Sylvia Jones.  “It is really important to keep most importantly our children safe.”

Health units are advising that you check with your local health unit or health care provider to ensure you are up to date with your routine immunizations.