Health officials warn of measles case in Manitoba
WINNIPEG – The province is warning that a case of measles has been detected in Manitoba, and that the man with the highly contagious disease attended several public places.
The patient, a man in his 40s, lives in the Interlake area and is currently in hospital, the Office of the Chief Provincial Public Health Officer said in a news release Friday afternoon.
“The disease tends to be more severe in infants and young children, and can be life-threatening,” officials warn.
The man was at following locations and events while contagious:
* the Manitoba Winter Games badminton tournament in Winkler March 7 and 8,
* the 204 Volleyball and Ice Time Sports 14 and under tournament March 8 at Monroe and John Henderson junior high schools in Winnipeg,
* the University of Manitoba Bison volleyball tournament in Winnipeg March 9,
* the Victoria Hospital emergency department in Winnipeg March 9 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and
* the Selkirk General Hospital emergency department in Selkirk March 10 at 7 p.m.
Measles is spread through droplets in the air formed when coughing or sneezing. Officials say people who think they might have been in those locations should call their doctor or phone Health Links-Info Santé at 788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 for more information.
Initial symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, drowsiness, irritability and red eyes. Small white spots may also develop on the inside of the mouth or throat. Several days later, a red blotchy rash appears on the face and progresses down the body. Measles can lead to complications including ear infections, diarrhea, pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (brain inflammation).
The province says measles activity has also been detected in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario “mostly related to ongoing outbreaks in the Philippines and the Netherlands.”
Officials say immunization is the only defense against measles.
“In Manitoba, a two-dose measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine program was introduced in 1996. Vaccines are provided for children who are at least one year of age and again when aged four to six,” officials say.
For information on the measles/mumps/rubella vaccine, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/factsheets/mmr.pdf.