April 25, 2014 4:24 pm

Another infant, too young to be immunized, contracts measles in Edmonton Zone

EDMONTON – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is confirming the latest case of measles in the Edmonton Zone to be another infant, too young to be immunized.

The child appears to have contracted measles after exposure either on an April 19 Air Canada flight, or at the Edmonton International Airport.

The baby, who was not hospitalized, is the second infant linked to the case in two days.

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READ MORE: Alberta infant infected with measles; 5th case in Edmonton area

The child is also Alberta’s 21st measles patient this year, and the Edmonton Zone’s sixth patient, which is considered unusually high.

The origin of two of the Edmonton Zone’s six cases is not known by AHS.

The infant in the latest case was taken to the locations below, which has AHS warning individuals that they may have been exposed to the highly-contagious disease if they were there on the dates and times noted:

Zion Baptist Church – 9802 76 Avenue, Edmonton

  • April 18 – 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 19 – 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • April 20 – 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mac’s Store – 8403 Ellerslie Road, Edmonton

  • April 19 – 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Alice’s Produce Market – 3232 82 Street, Edmonton

  • April 22 – 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

AHS says it is treating this like a measles outbreak, even though it isn’t one.

Individuals who may have been exposed are being asked by AHS to monitor themselves for symptoms of measles, which include:

  • fever of 38.3° C or higher; and
  • cough, runny nose and/or red eyes; and
  • a red blotchy rash that appears three to seven days after fever starts, beginning behind the ears and on the face and spreading down the body and then to the arms and legs.

Those who do experience symptoms, are asked to stay home and call Health Link Alberta (1-866-408-5465) before visiting any health care facility or provider.

Dr. Marcia Johnson, the Edmonton Zone Medical Officer of Health, says that pregnant women or infants who were in Alice’s Produce Market during the time stated above, should call Health Link by Saturday.

“We may be able to help prevent the disease…with something called immunoglobulin,” she said.

“Immunoglobulin is a blood product. It is the use of antibodies that are produced by someone else…It is only effective when given to the person who was exposed to the disease within 5 or 6 days of the exposure.”

The disease is most serious in people under five and over 20, or people who have compromised immune systems.

Children in Alberta typically receive their first dose of measles vaccine at 12 months of age, and their second dose between the ages of four and six years.

The measles vaccine is offered free of charge in Alberta; but immunization rates have fallen seven per cent in the last seven years.

READ MORE: 6 vaccination myths debunked

“Anyone who was born after 1970 who has not received two doses of measles-containing vaccine needs to,” said Johnson.

Most people born after 1996 have had the second dose, because that’s when the two-dose vaccine schedule was implemented.

“The realization was that we wouldn’t be really to be able to really get close to elimination of measles in North america unless we instituted the two-dose schedule, which provides 99 per cent protection,” Johnson explained.

Officials have said most of the people who have come down with measles in Alberta this year were not immunized.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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