February 26, 2019 5:13 pm
Updated: February 26, 2019 6:11 pm

Sask. government encouraging residents to update measles immunization

WATCH: Measles is popping up at alarming rates on the West Coast with nearly a dozen confirmed cases in Vancouver. While immunization rates in Saskatchewan are strong, the provincial health authority says there is still room for concern.

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Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Health is encouraging residents in the province to make sure their measles immunization are up-to-date following multiple recent outbreaks in parts of Canada and the U.S.

There have been no confirmed cases of measles in Saskatchewan, but the province says it’s better to be safe than sorry.

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“Because measles is a serious, infectious illness, we are urging all residents to ensure that their immunization and their children’s immunizations are up-to-date,” said Dr. Saqib Shahab, Saskatchewan’s chief medical health officer.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan Health Authority concerned by West Coast measles outbreak

Given as MMRV vaccination, the province routinely vaccinates all children at 12 and 18 months of age.

“We are aware of measles cases in Canada and the U.S., and we are monitoring the situation here closely,” Shahab said.

Anybody born in 1970 or later are also eligible for the vaccination if they have not already received two measles vaccinations in the past.

Residents travelling outside of North America with infants six-to-11 months old should contact local public-health officers to see if they need vaccination against measles.

READ MORE: B.C. government considers requiring students to register measles immunizations

“Vaccines are safe and have saved more lives in Canada in the last 60 years than any other medical intervention,” Shahab said.

Symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, spots in the mouth appearing one or two days before a red blotchy rash appears on days three and five.

The symptoms can occur within eight-to-12 days after exposure.

The last case in Saskatchewan was reported in 2014.

Measles is a viral infection that can spread easily from person-to-person without direct contact.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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