The measles outbreak in Quebec’s Lanaudière region has grown to 119 cases since the first cases were reported in early February, according to the Public Health Department (PHD) of the Agency Health and Social Services Lanaudière today (computer translated).
A student who attends the École intégrée de Saint-Pierre was one of the cases. This has put some 700 students and staff members at risk for contracting measles. Health officials expect the number of confirmed cases to increase due to the potential for infection during this time frame.
The school and the Center for Health and Social Services of Northern Lanaudière (CSSSNL) are working together to prevent and control cases of measles at the school.
The first measles cases were reported to the Public Health Department, February 10, 2015 and the individuals were exposed to the virus at Disneyland. The investigation of the first case and other cases allowed public health to identify more contacts.
Public health officials said Wednesday that all of the 119 cases are related. It is important to mention that all these people were not vaccinated and from large families. They have almost all developed disease thereafter.
Measles is a highly infectious illness that primarily affects the respiratory tract. It can be a severe disease complicated by pneumonia.
The illness is usually non-specific in the first two to four days and includes fever followed by conjunctivitis, a runny nose and cough.
A characteristic red blotchy rash appears two to seven days after the first onset of symptoms and begins on the face and upper neck, becomes generalized and lasts for four to seven days.
Quebec Public Health says the measles vaccine can be obtained for free at the CSSS in its region or doctor vaccinator.