There are now 4 confirmed cases of Measles in southern Alberta.
A large number of possible cases are also being investigated.
Already, over 20 people have been treated in the triage tents outside Chinook Regional Hospital.
For staff, each person who is assessed goes through a very strict procedure before entering the actual hospital.
“Anyone sharing an airspace with a measles case is going to be infected and especially if they are not immune or have not been vaccinated,” says Dr. Vivien Suttorp, Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health.
The hospital has designated areas within units to ensure the illness does not spread.
“We made sure there are appropriate rooms at Chinook Regional Hospital that we call negative pressure rooms, so the air is not pumped in, but out of the building,” says Dr. Suttorp.
Before anyone is taken into a health care facility they are assessed over the phone or by their family doctor, then they come to the Temporary Assessment Centre at the hospital.
Patients are then masked and transported through a separate elevator directly into the designated room,” says Dr. Suttorp.
When patients are transported to the hospital by ambulance, the vehicle needs to sit for a few hours before it can be used for other EMS calls.
“In confined airspace it takes two hours settling time for the measles suspended in the air and to not be active anymore so it can also impact our EMS services if we have a number of individuals who need transport,” says Dr. Suttorp.
AHS staff has been working on implementing all of the safety precautions and procedures for a few months to ensure minimal exposure to other patients, families and staff.