Ottawa City Health Officials Confirm Two Cases of Measles

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is encouraging residents to ensure their measles immunization is up to date following the confirmation of two cases of measles in Ottawa. The source of the first case, which was reported in early December, is from international travel. The second case was confirmed this week and is considered a local transmission.

“We have a well immunized population and most people have protection from measles,” said Dr. Isra Levy, Medical Officer of Health. ”OPH has alerted local physicians of both cases and is monitoring the situation carefully.”

Measles is spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. Measles is more severe in adults and infants than in children and can lead to ear infections, pneumonia and swelling of the brain.

The reported incidence of measles in Ottawa is very low as most of the population has been vaccinated. Previous to these cases, the last case of measles reported in Ottawa was in 2002.

Despite the rarity of this disease in Ottawa, it is very important for young children, teens and adults including health care workers born after 1970 to keep their measles vaccination (MMR) up to date. The measles vaccination is also recommended for many international travel destinations.

Residents are encouraged to review their immunization records as well as their children’s immunization records to ensure that they have received the measles vaccine.

Symptoms of the measles

Early symptoms of the measles may include fever, cough, and tiny white spots in the mouth.

Within 3 to 7 days later a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs.

If you believe that you have measles or have been exposed to measles consult your health care provider immediately.

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