Patients at Children’s Hospital possibly exposed to measles

CALGARY – Officials are warning parents and children who visited the Alberta Children’s Hospital two weeks ago that they may have been exposed to measles.

Alberta Health Services is cautioning those who were in the hospital’s emergency room on January 14th, 16th, 17th or 18th to check their immunization records and watch for signs of the illness.

Officials have sent out 400 letters warning parents that a child who was later diagnosed with measles visited the hospital’s ER on those days.

Measles is caused by a virus that is spread easily through the air. It’s very contagious, and anyone who has not had the disease in the past or has not been vaccinated is in danger of becoming infected.

Typically, the disease will develop about 10 days after exposed, and tends to be most severe in infants and adults than in children.

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AHS says anyone who may have been at the hospital during the time in question and develops symptoms before February 4th should avoid contact with other people and contact a doctor.

Officials say this incident isn’t linked to a previous measles warning at Western Canada High School, in which a student contracted measles while travelling abroad.

In this instance, they believe the child who visited the emergency room had been exposed to measles while in the Philippines, but say the youth wasn’t infectious during their time of travel.

Symptoms of Measles:

Fever of 38.3° C or higher, 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 to the body and then to the arms and legs.

How do I know if I was immunized?

Albertans uncertain of their immunization history, or their child’s immunization history, can call their local public health office or Health Link Alberta (1.866.408.5465) to discuss.