Prince Albert health region investigating case of measles
Published Wednesday, October 10, 2012 11:16AM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:06PM CST
The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is investigating the first case of measles there since 2007. Health officials say a man is recovering from the illness but there may have been others who were exposed to the virus.
Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Khani Chokani says, “It’s a highly infectious virus that will spread very, very quickly by air and essentially through large droplets. The exposure time period can last up to two hours.”
That is why the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region is advising people who were at risk of exposure to be aware of symptoms which usually occur 8 to 12 days after exposure but can show up after 18 days. Chokani says since the health region has low immunization rates there is a stronger possibility of having more than one case.
The most potential for exposure occurred at Amy’s on 2nd restaurant between September 28th and October 3rd, at the Crescent Heights Family Medical Centre the afternoon of October 1st, and at the Victoria Hospital Emergency Department on October 3rd from 2:30pm until 4am on October 4th.
“Individuals may have been exposed to the measles virus and may become ill if they have not had the vaccine for measles or have not had the disease before.” said Chokani
The Prince Albert man who had the measles did travel but health region officials won’t say where he was. They will only say that he is now fully recovered. They’re hoping to avoid any future cases by letting the public know about the serious and potentially fatal illness. Chokani added, “It has a very poor outcome if the person is not fully vaccinated.”
Chokani says the measles infection is usually uncommon in Canada, however, there were six cases in Saskatchewan in 2011. This is the first case in the province this year. For more information on symptoms and what to do if you believe you were exposed to the measles, you can contact the Public Health Communicable Disease Program at 765-6505.