Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is investigating a lab-confirmed case of measles in an unimmunized child. The patient acquired the illness during travel to the Philippines, which is currently experiencing a significant and widespread measles outbreak.
OPH is notifying persons who were present at the following locations during these times and were potentially exposed to the child, and inquiring about their immunization status:
- February 25, 2014, 8:45 a.m. - noon: Med-Team Clinic, 103-99 Kakulu Road
- February 27, 2014: 9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.: Active Care Clinic, 1108 Klondike Road
- February 28, 2014: noon - 2:20 p.m.: CHEO emergency department
The child attends St. Stephen Catholic School in Stittsville. OPH is working with the school and school board to notify and inform potentially exposed students and staff.
OPH is advising all of these individuals to seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of measles and to tell their health care practitioner that they have recently been potentially exposed to measles. Individuals can also contact the Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744 for further information.
Although measles has been eliminated in the Americas, cases related to travel continue to occur, putting the local population at risk. OPH is alerting health care practitioners and hospitals of the case and is asking them to ensure all patients’ immunizations are up to date and to increase their awareness of possible symptoms of measles. Despite the rarity of this disease in Ottawa, it is very important for all residents to keep their vaccinations up to date and remember to report to OPH every time your child is vaccinated.
There are no other reported cases at the present time. The last case of measles reported in Ottawa was in February 2011 and was travel-related.
The measles virus is transmitted by airborne droplets or direct contact with an infected person. Measles is more severe in adults and infants than in children and can lead to ear infections, pneumonia, swelling of the brain and even death.
Symptoms of measles:
Early symptoms of measles may include fever, cough, and tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs.
If you believe that you have measles, you should isolate yourself by staying home and avoid all contact with unimmunized persons. Call before visiting your doctor so they can take precautions to protect other patients.
For information and health tips, connect with us on Twitter @OttawaHealth. For additional information on measles and immunization, visit ottawa.ca/health or call Ottawa Public Health Information at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).