Public health officials in Hamilton are investigating a confirmed case of red measles and say people who spent time downtown in the past week may have come into contact with the virus.

In a statement released on Saturday, the city said that individuals who visited any of the following locations may have been exposed:

  • Jackson Square (2 King St W) on Aug. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • Harvest Moon restaurant (80 James St North), Aug. 19 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Crowne Plaza hotel (150 King Street East) from Aug. 18 to 22 (elevators and Saffron Mediterranean Restaurant and Bar)

Anyone who visited those locations during the specified times who has not had two doses of a measles vaccine, or who has not had the measles in the past, is asked to call Public Health Services at 905-546-2063.

The condition, authorities said, often starts with cold-like signs and symptoms, such as coughing, a runny nose, red, watery, eyes and a fever. After about four days, infected individuals develop a telltale rash, whichs usually begins on the face and then moves down the body.

"Red measles is highly contagious to those who are susceptible from the beginning of the illness until four days after the rash first appears," said Dr. Ninh Tran, the city's associate medical officer of health.

"To avoid spreading illness to others it's important that ill individuals stay home."

The city advises people who think they have the measles and need to see a health professional to call ahead before leaving home.

In June, the Halton Region Health Department reported three confirmed measles cases in Burlington. All three cases were children from the same family. They are believed to have come into contact with the virus while travelling outside Ontario.