EDMONTON – There are two new cases of measles in the Edmonton zone, and both involve young children.
Both of the new cases are linked to previous cases in the area.
One patient is a preschool-aged child who was vaccinated, but Alberta Health Services (AHS) says the vaccine was given too close to the time of exposure for the child to have developed immunity.
The other patient is an infant.
“The preschooler did receive one dose of vaccine but just within days of becoming ill,” said Dr. Marcia Johnson with AHS. “It was given too close to exposure for full protection. The infant was not immunized.”
AHS says the two children are at home recovering.
Typically, children receive their first dose of measles vaccine when they are one-year-old, followed by a second dose between the ages of four and six.
Alberta Health Services has made a special short-term dose available this spring for children between six and 12-months-old.
“Anyone over the age of 12 months to four years should have one dose, and anyone over four years… should have two doses of measles-containing vaccine to protect themselves,” said Johnson.
Individuals who were in the following locations, on the dates and times noted, may have been exposed to measles:
West Edmonton Mall – 8882-170 Street, Edmonton
Prairie Mall – 11801-100 Street, Grande Prairie
Synergy Wellness Center –501 Bethel Drive, Sherwood Park
Grande Prairie Army and Navy Club – 10117-93 Street, Grande Prairie
Individuals who were in the above locations within the noted time frames may be at risk for developing measles. These individuals are advised to monitor themselves for symptoms of measles. If symptoms of measles do develop, these individuals are advised to stay home and call Health Link Alberta (1-866-408-5465) before visiting any health care facility or provider.
Across the province, the measles total now stands at 30 cases, 13 of which are in the Edmonton zone, nine in Calgary, seven in central Alberta, and one in northern Alberta.
AHS says since April 30, 10,000 people have been immunized, including 4,000 children between six and 12 months.
“The clinics are getting quieter,” said Johnson.
“We will say that the outbreak is over when there’s been two time periods of three weeks… a total of six weeks from our last case.”
For extensive measles coverage, including symptoms, exposure locations and commonly asked questions, visit our Alberta Measles webpage.
“Measles is tremendously contagious, so all you have to do is be in an area breathing. There is virus that is released into the air, and that virus remains in the air for two hours,” said Johnson.
“If you’re ill, please stay home.”
© 2014 Shaw Media