A pre-school boy has been confirmed as Edmonton’s newest – and ninth – case of the measles.

AHS says the child was not immunized.

Dr. Marcia Johnson, the Edmonton Zone Medical Officer of Health, said the young boy was exposed to a previously-known case from about 12 days ago.

Although not confirmed by Johnson, that timing coincides with the diagnosis of a young infant who arrived in Edmonton via an Air Canada flight.

AHS news releases state both that infant and the pre-school boy visited Dr. Bhambhani’s Medical Office in south Edmonton however at separate times.

When asked for more detail on the exposure, Johnson said only that people with ill children should keep them at home.

Johnson said the pre-school boy is now resting at home.

AHS says anyone who visited the following locations and is not immunized to be on the lookout for symptoms:

  • May 5-6: Grey Nuns Hospital Emergency Department (1100Youville Drive N.W.) from 7 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. on May 6
  • May 7: Grey Nuns Hospital – Unit 33 (3rd floor) from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • May 10: Dr. Bhambhani’s Medical Office from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • May 11: Dynalife Laboratory, Tawa Centre (3011- 66th Street) from 10:50 a.m. until 1:10 p.m. on May 11
  • May 12: Dr. Bhambhani’s Medical Office from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Symptoms of measles include a fever, cough, runny nose and a blotchy, red rash that appears three to seven days after the fever begins.

AHS renews plea for immunizations

“This case, like most of the cases in Edmonton, could have been prevented.” said Johnson on Wednesday, adding that immunization is one of two effective strategies to stop the virus’ spread.

“The other important strategy is when you are ill please stay home. This is important in measles, is important in influenza, is important in Norovirus in virtually everything. When you’re ill, with a fever, cough, rash, illness please stay home and call Health Link for advice.”

For those that must visit a clinic or doctor’s office, Johnson advised wearing a mask and reporting symptoms to a frontline worker immediately upon arrival.

“This is a severe illness, it’s a very contagious illness. We can prevent it,” she repeated, adding there are still spots available for anyone wanting an immunization shot at “virtually all of our public health centres.”

Asked whether the outbreak status would be called off anytime soon, Johnson said “it is way too soon to say we’ve seen the end of of it.”

“Each new case provides the opportunity for another whole circle for exposures to other vulnerable people,” she said. “Each new case is not good news for us. It’s like another spark on another pile of kindling when you’re trying to put a fire out.”

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said the child visited the Dynalife Laboratory at Tawa Centre (3011- 66th Street) from 10:50 p.m. on May 11 until 1:10 a.m. on May 12, when in fact he actually was there from 10:50 a.m. until 1:10 p.m. on May 11. AHS issued the correction on May 15. The story has been updated to reflect this.
    May 15, 2014 5:10 PM MT