The number of confirmed cases of measles in Saint John has grown, medical authorities in the province confirmed on Sunday.
Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, told a news conference that her office is investigating after two new cases were confirmed on Saturday.
Both cases are linked to a previously confirmed case at Kennebecasis Valley High School.
School is in session on Monday and Russell says that instructions have been distributed to students.
“The message right now is that if you’ve had your dose you’re welcome to go back to school tomorrow and those people who have not or have been told that their immune status is not adequate they’ve been given other instructions and they’re just to continue following those instructions,” she said.
The two new cases have brought the total number of cases in the Saint John area to five this season.
“Public health officials are setting up a special immunization clinic to immunize those in the school population who have not yet received a dose of MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine within the last 28 days,” said Russell.
“Vaccination is our best possible protection against measles.”
Spring Lake was at Kennebecasis Valley High School on Sunday for a dance recital.
The mother of four told Global News two of her children go the high school, while two have specials needs and that she’s concerned for their health.
“I have two children who are compromised, one who has asthma and one who has down syndrome so I just am concerned about making sure they’re protected,” Lake said.
Lake said that she’s relieved that vaccination clinics were carried out at the school on Friday and is looking at ways to make sure the family members who don’t attend the school will be safe.
“I think the response has been good for the students, I’m just concerned about the general population,” she added.
WATCH: Testing reveals no third case of measles in Saint John
At least four of the five cases have been connected to the Kennebecasis Valley High School. The first case in Saint John was confirmed last month in an individual who had recently travelled internationally.
The New Brunswick Community College reported a suspected case of the measles last week, but tests came back negative.
Russell says that the incubation period for measles can be up to 18-days and that her team continues to monitor the situation.
“We will remain vigilant as long as we need too, we will remain in response mode for this outbreak as long as we need too,” she said.
Symptoms of the measles may include fever, cough, or tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms, and legs.
Measles can be prevented with a vaccine and is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person.
Russell said on Sunday that if someone is experiencing those symptoms that it is important to contact their health-care provider.
In New Brunswick, the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella is free of charge for children at the age of 12 and 18 months.