Public Health investigating confirmed cases of measles in Halifax area
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2017
HALIFAX, N.S. – Public Health has confirmed three cases of measles in the Halifax area and is advising Nova Scotia residents about the symptoms of measles and how they can protect themselves.
“We have confirmed three cases of measles in Halifax area and are following up with the contacts of these individuals. We are also investigating to determine how they became infected,” said Dr. Trevor Arnason, Medical Officer of Health for Halifax, Eastern Shore and West Hants areas.
According to Dr. Arnason, it is rare to see cases of measles in Nova Scotia and the last confirmed case was reported in 2008. Most people are protected from measles infection by being vaccinated.
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.
“While the risk to the general public is low at this point, it’s important to be aware of measles symptoms and to know what to do if you develop symptoms,” Dr. Arnason noted.
Symptoms of measles include:
- runny nose
- red eyes
- irritability (feeling cranky or in a bad mood)
- small white spots may also show up inside the mouth and throat
- a red blotchy rash on the face, which spreads down the body
If you have symptoms of measles, you should:
- Call your local Public Health office: http://novascotia.ca/dhw/publichealth/phs-offices.asp
- Call 811 for advice from a registered nurse. They will advise on next steps.
- If you need to see a healthcare provider for assessment, such as your family doctor, call ahead to make sure they are prepared to see you. Measles is highly contagious and healthcare providers need to take special precautions to protect other patients from being exposed.
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.
Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344