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Measles outbreaks in Canada

Measles outbreaks in Canada

India Blooms News Service | 01 Apr 2017, 02:13 pm
Toronto, Apr 1 (IBNS}: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) had been reminding Canadians, especially travellers, to make sure their measles vaccinations were up to date, media reports said.

PHAC said symptoms of measles include: fever, runny nose, drowsiness, irritability, red eyes/sensitivity to light, small white spots on the inside of the mouth and throat, red blotchy rash on the face which progresses down the body.

Recently a WestJet employee who was on board on seven flights had been diagnosed with the measles virus, and there was a fear that passengers travelling with him were exposed to the illness, CBCNews reports said.

The airline was made aware of the situation by Toronto Public Health and started to contact travellers who might have been exposed.

“Health and safety is our top priority and we are working very closely with the Toronto Public Health and following its recommended protocol for managing this situation,” said WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart via email to Global News, GlobalNews reports said.

The WestJet crew member, diagnosed with measles was on the following flights:

March 22 – WS450 Abbotsford to Calgary, March 22 – WS610 Calgary to Ottawa, March 22 – WS369 Ottawa to Toronto, March 23 – WS590 Toronto to Montreal,     March 24 – WS581 Montreal to Toronto, March 24 – WS2668 Toronto to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, March 24 – WS2669 Providenciales, Turks and Caicos to Toronto

Toronto Public Health said anyone who had not had two doses of the vaccine or had not had measles in the past is at risk of infection. Infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems can become very ill with measles.

In western Nova Scotia, reported CBCNews, six cases of the measles had been confirmed. The outbreak had been caused by a highly contagious virus which, medical officials said, could be contained through vaccination with two doses of measles-containing vaccine.

Measles is one of the leading causes of death among young children, reported World Health Ooganization (WHO) and added measles vaccination resulted in a 79% drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2015 worldwide.

Measles vaccine can be given to children as early as six months of age if they are travelling to countries where measles is widely spread, said PHAC and added that if measles vaccine is given to a child less than 12 months old, another dose should be given soon after their first birthday. For children between the ages of 6 months and 12 months who had been exposed to measles, PHAC recommended the preventative use of immunoglobulin within six days.

PHAC added there was no specific treatment for measles and symptoms were usually treated with medication to reduce fever and fluids and most people fully recover.

WHO said severe complications from measles can be avoided through supportive care and good nutrition, adequate fluid intake. Dehydration can be treated with WHO-recommended oral rehydration solution, which replaces fluids and other essential elements that are lost through diarrhoea or vomiting. Antibiotics should be prescribed to treat eye and ear infections, and pneumonia, added WHO.

(Reporting by Asha Bajaj, Image of measles infection: Wikipedia)

Measles outbreaks in Canada

India Blooms News Service
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