Information to our Families
If you fall into one of the following 4 categories, you are at higher risk of developing measles and/or complications:
1) Born in or after 1970 AND never received a measles-containing vaccine;
2) Have a weakened immune system;
3) Are pregnant and are unimmunized and have never had measles;
4) Children under the age of 1 year.
If you believe you were exposed to measles:
1) Check your immunization status by checking your records or calling your health care provider.
2) If you feel unwell, isolate yourself to protect others and if you need to see a health care provider, call ahead so they can take precautions to protect other patients.
3) DO NOT go to the hospital to receive the measles vaccine.
4) Speak to your health care provider if you wish to receive the measles vaccine.
There is a very effective vaccine that protects against measles called MMR. It is usually given during childhood. People who have received two doses of the MMR vaccine are generally well protected from measles. Also, people born in Canada in or before 1970 or people who have had measles in the past are also protected.
The measles virus is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person. Early symptoms of measles may include fever, cough, runny nose or tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days after symptom onset, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs. Measles is more severe in adults and infants than in children and can lead to complications. We strongly encourage all residents to consider vaccination as a way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. If you are unsure of your vaccination status or that of your children, please discuss this with your health care provider.
For additional information on measles and immunization, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Measles or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Centre at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).
Thanks again for your interest and please do not hesitate to reach out again if there are any questions.
On behalf of Dr. Trevor Arnason