Peel Public Health is monitoring increased measles activity across Ontario and is following up with all Peel residents known to have been exposed to measles.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is advising individuals who attended the “Acquire the Fire” event, a mass gathering of youth that was held in Toronto at Queensway Cathedral on February 6 and 7, 2015 of potential measles exposure that may have occurred at the event.
Peel residents who attended this event and who were born in or after 1970 are requested to review their immunization status to ensure they are protected against measles. If they have not been adequately immunized, they are requested to immediately self-isolate by staying at home and contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 (Caledon residents call free of charge 905-584-2216) for important additional guidance. They should not attend any public gatherings and should not attend school, work, daycare or any post-secondary institutions until they are cleared of measles risk.
Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is spread through the air from person to person. It causes fever, rash, cough, runny nose and red eyes. Complications can occur in up to 30 per cent of cases and include ear infections, pneumonia, seizures and encephalitis. It very rarely causes death.
The risk of measles to the general public is low; however, given that measles is highly contagious, it is very important that all Ontarians ensure their measles immunization is up-to-date. All Ontarians, regardless of date of birth, are eligible for two doses of MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella) vaccine.
Individuals considered adequately immunized or protected from measles:
- Persons born before 1970 – presumed most people in this age group would have acquired natural immunity to measles.
- Adults 18 years of age and older and born in 1970 or later (who are NOT health care workers, students in post-secondary educational setting, or in the military) AND who have received one dose of MMR vaccine.
- Children 12 months to 17 years of age who have received two doses of MMR vaccine.
Two doses of MMR vaccine are particularly recommended for:
- Health care workers
- Military personnel
- Young adults (18-25 years of age)
- Post-secondary students
- Persons who received killed vaccine previously (born between 1967 and 1970)
- Those planning to travel internationally (including travel within North America)
Children receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine routinely, with the first dose given after 12 months and the second between 4-6 years of age.
If you think that you or a family member has measles, be sure to call ahead to let the health care provider know that you are coming and tell them that you think you may have measles.