In a follow-up to a report earlier this week, the number of measles cases have increased by two in Canada’s most populous city. According to a CTV report, the total cases involve 4 adult patients and two children.
The outbreak has prompted health officials to issue a letter for Toronto schools to send to parents concerning measles vaccination:
Toronto Public Health is investigating a measles outbreak in the City of Toronto. Vaccination is the best defense against measles infection; and two doses of measles-containing vaccine (MMR or MMRV) are required for full protection. Most Toronto schools have high vaccination rates. However, if a measles exposure occurs in a school, students with incomplete vaccination, or an exemption from receiving the vaccine, will not be allowed to attend school until the outbreak is over. If you are unsure of your child’s immunization status, please check your child’s yellow immunization card, or speak with your health care provider. Once children are completely vaccinated they can return to school.
If your child is in kindergarten, please make sure they received their 4-to-6 year old booster. Parents with children who have completed their MMR/MMRV immunization (two doses), please ensure you have updated your child’s record with Toronto Public Health. If you have not updated your child’s record with Toronto Public Health, your child will be considered as having incomplete vaccination. To make reporting easier and faster, we offer online reporting at: www.toronto.ca/immunization or by fax at 416-338-2487.
If you have travel plans, please be aware that the United States is experiencing a multi-state measles outbreak, linked to Disneyland in California. Before you travel, make sure you and your children are protected. Those born in 1970 or later require two doses of measles-containing vaccine.
Measles or rubeola, is an acute highly communicable viral disease that is characterized by Koplik spots in the cheek or tongue very early in the disease. A couple of days later a red blotchy rash appears first on the face, and then spreads, lasting 4-7 days. Other symptoms include fever, cough and red watery eyes. The patient may be contagious from four days prior to the rash appearance to four days after rash appearance.
The disease is more severe in infants and adults. Complications from measles include; seizures, pneumonia, deafness and encephalitis.