Sports & Health

Confirmed measles case in York Region

York Region Public Health (YRPH) is investigating a confirmed case of measles. The case is a male in his 30s who has not travelled recently or been in contact with anyone ill.

Thanks to widespread vaccination, measles was eliminated in Canada in 1998. However, there continues to be sporadic cases – including three recent cases in Ontario, one affecting a child who was hospitalized in Toronto. A case in York Region is the fourth case in Ontario and unique because the source of infection is unknown.

YRPH is reaching out to known contacts who may have been exposed to this confirmed case of measles virus. Additional exposure locations are under investigation, and impacted contacts will be directly notified.

The public may have been exposed to this confirmed measles case at the following locations:

  • Melt N Dip Restaurant 1018 Eglinton Ave. E. #4, Mississauga on Saturday, February 24 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Mackenzie Health Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital (Main Waiting Area) Emergency Department 3200 Major Mackenzie Dr. W., Vaughan on February 26 from approximately 2:40 p.m. to 4:55 p.m.
  • Vellore Medical Clinic 10395 Weston Rd, Woodbridge on February 26 from approximately 12:10 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Anyone who may have been exposed at these times and locations should immediately confirm they have two doses of measles vaccine. If you were present at the above times and locations and you were with an infant under 6 months of age or are immunocompromised, please call York Region Public Health immediately as you may be eligible for preventive treatment.

YRPH advises anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the measles virus to do the following:

  • Confirm that they and their family members have two doses of measles vaccine (MMR or MMRV); those born before 1970 would likely have had measles illness as a child and are protected
  • If you develop symptoms, stay home and do not attend work or school; call your healthcare professional before going to be seen to inform them that you may have measles and require additional precautions; you may also call Access York at 1-877-464-9675 (TTY at 1-866-512-6228)

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads very easily through airborne transmission. The measles virus can live in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours. Infants under one year of age, pregnant individuals and those who have a weakened immune system are at increased risk of severe complications, including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and death.

There is currently a large outbreak of measles in Europe with over 40,000 cases, including many who are seriously ill. Anyone travelling abroad should confirm that they have two doses of the measles vaccine.

Symptoms of measles start 7 to 21 days after exposure and may include:

  • High fever, cough, runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes (i.e., pink eye or conjunctivitis)
  • Red rash that typically starts on the head and neck and then spreads downward to the chest, arms and legs; the rash typically appears 3 to 7 days after symptoms begin and is not itchy

Appropriate testing for measles includes a urine test and a throat swab. Blood tests are helpful, but not sufficient to diagnose measles.

Even individuals who are up to date with the measles vaccine should watch for symptoms of measles for 21 days after exposure.

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