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Toronto Public Health investigating 3 confirmed cases of measles, 1 case at TDSB school

The MMRV vaccine helps prevent mumps, measles, rubella and varicella. File photo

Public health officials say they’re investigating three lab-confirmed cases of measles in Toronto, including a case at a downtown elementary school.

A person acquired measles in another country and two other people were exposed to a person with measles who lives outside of the city, Toronto Public Health said Thursday. Two people had to be hospitalized, but one person has since been treated and released.

With respect to the person at a TDSB school who contracted measles, officials said they go to Huron Street Junior Public School near Spadina Road and Dupont Street. Officials wouldn’t confirm if it was a student who was affected. Parents have received notification about the potential exposure to measles and vaccine clinics are being held at the school.

Toronto Public Health said measles is a “highly contagious disease” that is easily spread.

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“Anyone who has not had two doses of a measles vaccine (MMR or MMRV) or who has not had measles in the past, is at risk of infection. Infants under one year of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems can get very ill with measles,” officials said in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Health officials said residents may have been exposed to those with measles between March 19 and 30 in the following settings:

March 19
Emirates Airline flight EK517, departed Delhi, India at 4:12 p.m. and arrived in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at 6:13 p.m.

March 20
Emirates Airline flight EK241, departed Dubai, United Arab Emirates at 9:55 a.m. and arrived in Toronto at 4:04 p.m.

March 21
Caledonian Bar, 865 College St.

March 22
WestJet flight WS450, departed Abbottsford, B.C. at 5:49 a.m. and arrived in Calgary at 7:50 a.m.
WestJet flight WS610, departed Calgary at 10:15 a.m. and arrived in Ottawa at 3:47 p.m.
WestJet flight WS369, departed Ottawa at 4:40 p.m. and arrived in Toronto at 5:42 p.m.

March 23
WestJet flight WS590, departed Toronto at 4:27 p.m. and arrived in Montreal at 5:41 p.m.

March 24
WestJet flight WS581, departed Montreal at 7:55 a.m. and arrived in Toronto at 9:13 a.m.
WestJet flight WS2668, departed Toronto at 10:16 a.m. and arrived in Turks and Caicos Islands at 1:56 p.m.
WestJet flight WS2669, departed Turks and Caicos Islands at 2:59 p.m. and arrived in Toronto at 7:15 p.m.

Toronto Public Health encouraged residents to check their immunization records to ensure they are up to date with the measles vaccination.

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Dr. Michael Finkelstein, associate medical officer of health, said measles is still present in parts of the world and had a message for travellers.

“This is the time to remind people when they are travelling, it’s very important to be fully vaccinated before they travel,” he said.

Residents were also asked to be aware of measles symptoms, which include high fever, cold-like symptoms such as coughing or a runny nose, sore eyes, sensitivity to light and a red rash lasting four to seven days.

Anyone with symptoms is being asked to stay away from work or school and seek medical attention immediately.

With files from Adam Miller

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