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April 4, 2008
Increase in cases of measles in Toronto
Toronto Public Health is advising residents and physicians of an increase in cases of measles in Toronto.

Three cases of measles have been reported, and another is under investigation. A case has also been reported in Halton Region. In Toronto, an average of three cases were reported per year over the last decade.

The risk for the general public is considered low because most people are immune to measles as a result of past illness and Canada's high immunization rates.

“Although rare, cases of measles in the community still occur, and this is a good opportunity to remind people to check their immunization status,” said Dr. Michael Finkelstein, an Associate Medical Officer of Health with Toronto Public Health.

Most people who get the measles are sick for about 10 days, and recover completely without any treatment. Measles can be more severe for infants, adults, and pregnant women.

“If you do develop measles, call your doctor’s office before you visit so they can ensure that measles is not spread to others in the waiting room,” said Dr. Finkelstein.

Symptoms of measles include: cough, runny nose, fever, white spots in the mouth and red watery eyes that are sensitive to light. These symptoms are followed by a red rash which lasts about six days.

Measles is highly contagious and spread by droplets and direct contact with nasal and throat secretions of an infected person. Measles can also be spread through the air. A person with measles can infect others from four days before to four days after the onset of rash.

For a Fact Sheet on measles, visit

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Susan Sperling, Media Relations Coordinator, Toronto Public Health, 416-338-7974



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