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Public Health investigating additional case of measles on South Shore

Published Friday, April 14, 2017

Public Health investigating additional case of measles on South Shore

April 13, 2017 - Bridgewater, N.S. – An additional case of measles has been confirmed on the province’s south shore, requiring notification to parents and guardians of students at Hebbville Academy. The current outbreak of measles now has 15 confirmed cases; one other case was identified since last public release on April 4.

“We are currently investigating this particular measles case to determine how it is linked with the other cases of measles we’ve been managing the past few weeks,” said Dr. Ryan Sommers, medical officer of health. “The person in this case, a student, attends Hebbville Academy and we have notified parents/guardians, students and staff at the school.”

Dr. Sommers notes that due to the large number of potential exposures in the school environment, Public Health decided to host a vaccination clinic for students and staff whose vaccination for measles is not up to date.

“This clinic will ideally help us prevent additional cases of measles and ensure that those whose vaccinations weren’t up to date are covered. While we may see other cases due to this exposure, this vaccination clinic along with our investigation should greatly reduce those numbers.”

Risk to the general public remains low at this time and most people are protected from measles infection by being vaccinated. Public Health is once again asking the public to be aware of measles symptoms and what to do if they have them.

Symptoms of measles include:

·         fever, cough, runny nose

  • red eyes
  • a red blotchy rash on the face, which spreads down the body
  • sleepiness
  • irritability (feeling cranky or in a bad mood)
  • small white spots may also show up inside the mouth and throat

 

If you have symptoms of measles, you should:

  • Call Public Health at 1-844-856-3677
  • Call 811 for advice from a registered nurse.
  • If you need to see a healthcare provider for assessment, such as your family doctor, please call ahead. Healthcare providers need to take special precautions to protect other patients from being exposed.

 

Measles is a viral illness and most people fully recover within two to three weeks. However, measles can have serious complications, which are more likely in infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.

Public Health has been directly notifying others, such as family members and friends, who are known to have had close contact with a case.

So far in 2017:

·         There have been two measles outbreaks.

·         The first was in January/February, with 7 cases.

·         The second, and current outbreak, started in March and has 15 cases; an additional case was identified since the last public release on April 4.

·         The total of measles cases in Nova Scotia is 22.

Nova Scotia residents born after 1970 are eligible to receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine at no cost through the publicly funded immunization program. Individuals who have not had two doses of measles-containing vaccine should arrange immunization through their primary care provider as per the NS Immunization Schedule.

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