Toronto Public Health investigating 2 new confirmed cases of measles
Toronto Public Health (TPH) is investigating two lab-confirmed cases of measles in adults that are travel-related.
A news release sent out Monday morning said the public may have been exposed to the measles virus in the following settings on May 5 and May 8:
- Remely’s Restaurant, 4830 Sheppard Ave. E., between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
- Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, between 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
- Air Canada flight AC848, departed Toronto at 8:40 p.m. and arrived in London Heathrow airport, United Kingdom, at 8:35 a.m. on May 6
- Toronto Zoo between 1:30 and 5 p.m.
- Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, between 5 and 7:30 p.m.
- Air Canada flight AC849, departed London Heathrow airport at 2:10 p.m. and arrived at Pearson at 5 p.m.
Toronto Public Health are reminding residents that the measles virus is a highly contagious disease that is circulating in many countries and to ensure they are protected against the virus before travelling.
“There has been an increase in global measles cases and this affects what we are seeing locally. We are therefore reminding people to check their measles vaccination history, especially before any international travel,” said Dr Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health.
“Some adults born after 1970 may have only received one dose of measles-containing vaccine and may, therefore, be more susceptible to measles when travelling to areas experiencing higher rates of measles. We encourage people to speak with their health-care provider about measles before travelling to affected areas and if you have any concerns about a possible recent exposure to measles for you, or a member of your family,” said de Villa.
WATCH: WHO issues measles warning in Europe (May 7)
The agency also advised that although the risk of acquiring measles is believed to be low, anyone who may have been exposed to the virus should check their immunization records, watch for symptoms and contact their health-care provider.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the new cases were troubling.
“It’s alarming to hear not just that there are outbreaks of measles happening, in one example, but an increase in the number of people who are vaccination hesitant,” he told reporters Monday.
Health Canada said there were 45 cases of measles across the country as of April 27 in Quebec, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick.
WATCH: Confirmed cases of measles and whooping cough in B.C. (March 9)
B.C., in particular, is dealing with an outbreak of more than two dozen cases of the highly infectious disease.
The province embarked on a vaccination blitz for school-aged children that began on April 1 and included school clinics, letters to families with children and dispensing over 3,800 vaccines. The province plans 600 more in-school vaccination clinics for May and June.
The World Health Organization said the measles outbreak continues to worsen in 2019, with cases across the world up 300 per cent in the first three months compared to the year before. There are sizable outbreaks in several countries in eastern Europe, Africa, central Asia, it said.
There have been more than 112,000 cases of measles reported to the organization from 170 countries in the first three months of 2019.
— With files from The Canadian Press.
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