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March 21, 2014: The Elgin St. Thomas Health Unit has issued an advisory over concerns someone with the measles may have transmitted the virus to other individuals.

Those who were present at Dr. Barrett's office at 107 Edward Street, St. Thomas March 18th, 2014 between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., can visit the Health Unit tonight before 6:00 p.m. to be assessed and possibly vaccinated. After tonight, they can call the Health Unit at 519-631-9900 to discuss next steps.

The individual risk of infection is low. Also, individuals who have received two doses of measles vaccine, who have been previously infected or who were born before 1970, are generally protected from infection.

Measles is a very contagious viral infection that spreads through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles can result in complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, brain infections, and other infections. Infrequently, death can occur.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • Fever, cough and runny nose
  • Red, irritated eyes and light sensitivity
  • Small white, grey or blue spots in the mouth
  • Red, blotchy rash, which is the last symptom to appear. The rash appears on the face and then spreads down over the body, and will begin to fade after about a week.

Symptoms can start anywhere from 7 to 21 days after a person has been exposed to the virus. Symptoms usually develop around 10 days after exposure and the rash usually develops 14 days after exposure.

What do you do if you are exposed to measles?

If you have been exposed and are not immune (through vaccination or previous infection), a vaccine can prevent measles from developing if given within 72 hours of exposure. Another medication may help up to 6 days after exposure. Please contact your health care provider.

If you develop symptoms:

• Stay home and don't allow others to visit for at least four days after the rash starts.
• Call Elgin St. Thomas Public Health at 519-631-9900.

Please note: If you need to visit a healthcare provider, call first and tell them you have measles symptoms. Visit the healthcare provider at the end of the day unless this is not practical or possible for medical reasons. On arrival, immediately ask for a mask when you enter the office/clinic, and to be placed in a private room. If this is not possible, wait in your car until you are seen by the healthcare provider.

Additional Information:

Public Health Agency of Canada
Center for Disease Control and Prevention

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