October 1st, 2014

Immunization urged as measles cases grows

By Gillian Slade on April 7, 2014.

gslade@medicinehatnews.com @MHNGillianSlade

With nine cases of measles reported in the province, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is urging people to get immunized because it’s the most effective way to protect against measles, and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

There are no confirmed cases of measles in the South Zone of AHS at this time but due to populations of under-immunized individuals the risk of measles in this area is heightened.

Measles is highly contagious and can result in severe illness, or even death, said AHS

Symptoms include a fever of 38.3 C or higher, a cough, runny nose, red eyes and a red blotchy rash, which appears three to seven days after the fever starts, behind the ears, on the face and spreading down the body to the arms and legs.

Anyone with symptoms should avoid contact with others.

Call Health Link Alberta 1-866-408-5465 or a physician as soon as possible to discuss symptoms before going to a clinic or the hospital.

By calling ahead you can help reduce the potential risk of spreading the disease to others.

Close contact with an infected person is not necessary to catch measles.

It is an extremely contagious airborne disease that can spread by coughing and sneezing, and through air currents.

Although there is no specific treatment or cure for measles, it can be prevented through immunization.

The measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is part of the routine childhood immunization program in Alberta.

Children should receive their first MMR dose at 12 months and the second between the ages of four and six years. Both doses are required to be fully protected.

If you are uncertain about your immunization history, or your child’s immunization history, please call the public health office in the area to discuss your immunization needs, and/or to book an appointment to receive MMR immunizations.

Medicine Hat Community Health Services, 2948 Dunmore Road S.E., Medicine Hat. Telephone: 403-502-8200.

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One Response to “Immunization urged as measles cases grows”

  1. […] Health Link Alberta tells us how easily measles can spread: […]

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