August 09, 2013
Public Health announces first reported case of measles in more than a decade
Travel-related case is part of larger global outbreak
Oxford County Public Health & Emergency Services has received laboratory confirmation of a case of measles, commonly known as red measles, in an unimmunized adult with recent travel from the Netherlands. This marks the first confirmed case of measles in Oxford County in more than a decade.
Measles is the most contagious of the vaccine preventable diseases. It is spread easily through close personal contact or direct contact with droplets from coughing or sneezing. The measles virus can also live on surfaces or in the air for at least two hours. Complications from measles include pneumonia, severe diarrhea, croup, ear infections and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Symptoms of measles usually appear about 10 days after someone has come into contact with the virus. Symptoms include fever, runny nose, drowsiness, irritability, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and Koplick’s spots (small white spots inside the mouth and throat). About four days after the start of symptoms, a red blotchy (maculopapular) rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. People with measles may notice their eyes are more sensitive to light.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread to other people one day before the first symptoms of measles appear to four days after the rash appears. Anyone in the infectious stage should stay home and avoid going to day cares, schools, work, stores and other public places during this time period.
Public Health urges people to check their immunization records to make sure they have had two doses of the measles vaccine or the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine. Anyone who has had the measles disease is immune. If you’re not sure about your measles immunization, ask your health care provider or contact Public Health at 519-539-9800, ext. 3490, toll-free 1-800-755-0394.
“With the ongoing participation of health care professionals and the public in vaccinating against measles, outbreaks in Canada are most often travel-related. However, because measles is such a highly contagious disease that spreads very quickly, whenever we learn of a new case, we want to take the opportunity to remind the public to check their immunization records or to call us if they have questions about immunization or immunity.”
- Mary Metcalfe, Manager, Health Protection, Oxford County Public Health
- Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. The Public Health Agency of Canada notes it is one of the leading causes of death in children worldwide.
Tommasina Conte | Strategic Communication & Engagement
519.539.9800, ext. 3503 | Mobile: 519.608.3003 | firstname.lastname@example.org
OXFORD COUNTY PUBlic health & emergency services works to keep people in our community healthy and safe through programs in prevention, protection and emergency response. Services include family health, immunization, dental health, infectious disease prevention, sexual health, public health inspection, environmental health, healthy lifestyles, emergency services, emergency planning, and other programs that support healthy people living in a healthy environment. Public Health & Emergency Services is part of the County of Oxford. For more information, visit www.oxfordcounty.ca/health or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/oxfordcountypublichealth.