Case of measles confirmed in Toronto, passengers at Pearson airport potentially exposed
Toronto Public Health has confirmed a case of measles in the city and has issued a warning as residents travelling through Pearson airport and other venues that they may have been exposed to the infection.
In a statement released Friday evening, officials said the public have been exposed to measles during the following times:
- British Airways flight BA0099 to Toronto Pearson International Airport from Heathrow Airport, departed London, England at 5 p.m. and arrived at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday
- Terminal 3 at Toronto Pearson International Airport between 9:30 p.m. Saturday and 12:30 a.m. Sunday
- Tennessee Tavern (1554 Queen St. W.) between 11 p.m. Saturday and 2 a.m. Sunday
- St. Joseph’s Health Centre emergency department, cystoscopy or fracture clinic on Tuesday between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m., and between 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and 10 a.m. Thursday
- St. Joseph’s Health Centre diagnostic imaging between 1:15 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Wednesday
Dr. Herveen Sachdeva, associate medical officer of health with Toronto Public Health, told Global News in a statement Friday evening that the agency automatically launches an investigation after receiving lab confirmation. She said measles cases in Canada are rare due to high vaccination rates.
“In general, the rates of most vaccine preventable diseases is low or on the decline. Routine childhood immunizations have kept the rates of measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, haemophilus influenza B low,” Sachdeva said.
Public health officials said anyone who may have been exposed should check their immunization records or with their medical provider to see if they’re up-to-date with the measles vaccination.
Residents are being encouraged to watch for measles symptoms such as high fever, cold-like symptoms, sore eyes, sensitivity to light and a red rash lasting four to seven days.
“Symptoms usually appear 10 days (range seven to 21 days) after contact with a person who is contagious with measles,” officials said in a statement posted on Toronto Public Health’s website.
“The rash usually appears 10-14 days after exposure. An infected person can spread measles to others from four days before to four days after the rash appears.”
Toronto Public Health said anyone who is susceptible to measles and may have been exposed on Wednesday and Thursday, a vaccine dose is recommended to prevent the infection. Officials said the vaccine needs to be administered within three days of the potential exposure.
Public health staff will be offering vaccines on Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Etobicoke Civic Centre (399 The West Mall).
Those who are pregnant, have weakened immune systems and infants are being urged to call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600.
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