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April 7, 2008
Potential measles exposure in Toronto
  
Toronto Public Health has determined that an individual contagious with measles may have inadvertently exposed other people to the illness at multiple locations. Toronto Public Health is currently investigating a measles outbreak in the city.

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.

However, as a precaution, Toronto Public Health is asking anyone born after 1970 who attended the following places at the following times to call 416-338-7600 for assessment and follow-up.

Date/Time, Location
- Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m. - 9 p.m., Wednesday, April 2 - Thursday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. - 10 a.m., Toronto East General Hospital, 850 Coxwell Ave., Emergency Room

- Tuesday, April 1, 7 p.m. - 11 p.m., Wednesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m., Toronto East General Hospital, 850 Coxwell Ave., Prenatal Assessment, 7th floor

- Saturday, April 5, 8 a.m. - midnight, Toronto East General Hospital, 850 Coxwell Ave., Floor A3

- Wednesday, April 2, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., East End Community Health Centre, 1619 Queen St. E.,

Toronto Public Health is working with the hospital and the community health centre to contact those people who may have been exposed.

Clinics will be held to provide vaccination or immune globulin, an immune system booster, to people who may have been exposed and who have not been immunized or had measles. Individuals exposed to measles can be given vaccine within three days of exposure or immune globulin within six days to prevent or reduce the severity of illness due to measles.

The clinics will run on Tuesday, April 8 and Wednesday, April 9 from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. at the East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell Ave., across the street from Toronto East General Hospital.

It is important to call 416-338-7600 and speak to a Toronto Public Health staff member for an assessment before attending the clinics. Staff will be available to answer questions tonight and tomorrow until 8:30 p.m.

The individual also visited Wal-Mart at 1900 Eglinton Ave. E. on the afternoon of Friday, March 28. Because of the amount of time that has elapsed since that date, neither vaccination nor immune globulin will help prevent the illness from developing. Toronto Public Health is asking people who were at that store between 3:15 and 5:45 p.m. on March 28 to watch for signs and symptoms of the illness. If symptoms develop, seek medical attention. Be sure to call ahead and advise the medical facility that you may have been exposed to measles.

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. Measles is unlikely to cause harm to fetuses or to newborn infants of immune mothers.

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 http://www.toronto.ca/health .

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 livability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Susan Sealing, Media Relations Coordinator, Toronto Public Health,
416-338-7974, cell: 416-896-7867, ssperli@toronto.ca


 

 

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