Potential measles exposure on flight to Pearson, at ONroute and clinic: Windsor, Ont. health unit

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Measles cases on the rise in parts of Europe and Central Asia: WHO
RELATED: Measles cases are on the rise in parts of Europe and central Asia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has some public health experts concerned about further spread. Case counts in Canada remain low, but as health reporter Katherine Ward explains, vigilance against the disease is necessary for continued protection – Jan 24, 2024

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit is issuing a public warning over the potential exposure to measles at four locations on Jan. 11 and 15.

The locations involve flights from Romania to Germany and from Germany to Toronto, an ONroute location and a walk-in clinic in Windsor, Ont.

The health unit says symptoms can appear seven to 21 days after exposure and can include a fever, runny nose, cough, drowsiness, irritability and red eyes. Roughly three to seven days after symptoms first appear, a rash appears on the face and may start spreading down the body, the health unit says.

The measles virus spreads easily in the air and is so contagious that a person could contract measles by breathing in virus particles from an infected individual up to two hours after the infected person left a closed space.

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The potential exposures occurred:

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  • Jan. 11, 6:14 a.m. (EET) to 6:22 a.m.(CET) – Flight Lufthansa LH1661 from Timisoara Traian Vuia International Airport, Romania, to Munich Airport, Germany
  • Jan. 11, 12:37 p.m. (CET) to 3:02 p.m. (EST) – Flight Air Canada LH6790 from Munich Airport, Germany to Pearson International Airport, Canada
  • Jan. 11, 8:30 p.m. to 10:40 p.m. – Highway 401 westbound ONroute at West Lorne
  • Jan. 15, 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – A&R Medical Centre at 1800 Tecumseh Rd. W. in Windsor

The public warning comes just two days after the World Health Organization warned of an “alarming rise” in measles cases in Europe that is only accelerating.

There were 42,200 measles cases across 41 WHO European Region member states in 2023 — up from 941 cases reported in all of 2022, according to WHO.

The organization said in a release Wednesday that the rise in cases has accelerated in recent months, and they are expected to continue to rise unless urgent measures are taken.

Canada has not seen such a dramatic increase in measles cases, reporting 12 cases in 2023 and three in 2022, according to federal data.

— with files from Global News’ Eric Stober.

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