The Middlesex-London Health Unit and Southwestern Public Health are investigating following laboratory confirmation of an individual who has tested positive for measles.
The individual lives in London and works in Woodstock. Investigators have concluded the individual acquired their illness while traveling outside of Canada.
After their return, they had limited contact with others during the time they were infectious. These contacts occurred at a London medical clinic on Wednesday, February 15th between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.; and during overnight work shifts at Nova Steel, in Woodstock, Thursday February 9th and Sunday February 12th between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
The Middlesex-London Health Unit is contacting people who were at the medical clinic at the same time as the case, directly, while Southwestern Public Health is asking anyone who worked the overnight shifts at Nova Steel on February 9th and 12th to contact them for follow-up and next steps.
“Public health was notified of this case late Friday afternoon. We have been able to determine their potential contacts and are following up with those people to make sure they are aware of the situation and to prevent the spread of further illness,” says Dr. Alex Summers, Medical Officer of Health with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “We are vigilant to the arrival of diseases of public health significance in our community and this situation highlights that our system is working.
“Measles is highly contagious. If you were exposed at Nova Steel on February 9/10 or 12/13 please monitor yourself for symptoms. If you are not fully vaccinated with two doses of measles-containing vaccine, have not had measles in the past, OR if you develop symptoms, please call Southwestern Public Health at 1-800-922-0096 and ask to speak to the public health inspector on call. Our goal is to contain the spread and protect those who are most vulnerable,” says Dr. Ninh Tran, Medical Officer of Health for Southwestern Public Health.
The health units are reminding the community to be aware of the signs and symptoms of measles and to know their vaccination status to ensure immunizations are up to date and they have optimal protection against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Measles is spread through the air. Complications can include pneumonia, ear infections, brain infections, other infections and in rare cases, death.
Individuals who have received measles-containing vaccine, who have been previously infected with measles, or who were born before 1970, are generally protected from infection. Healthcare workers, students in post-secondary educational settings, and individuals under the age of 18 should have two doses of measles-containing vaccine to be protected.
Those considered to be most at risk of measles infection are individuals born in 1970 or later who:
• have not received measles-containing vaccine;
• or have not had a previous measles infection.
• Fever, cough and runny nose
• Red, irritated eyes and light sensitivity
• Small white, grey or blue spots in the mouth
• Red, blotchy rash, which is the last symptom to appear. The rash appears on the face and then spreads down over the body and will begin to fade after about a week.
If you develop symptoms:
• Stay home and don’t allow others to visit for at least four days after the rash starts
• Depending on where you live, call the Middlesex-London Health Unit at 519-663-5317 ext. 2330 (Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) or 519-675-7523 (after hours) or Southwestern Public Health at 1-800-922-0096.
• Contact your healthcare provider by phone. Please note: If you need to visit a healthcare provider, call first and tell them you have measles symptoms.
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