Manitoba confirms 2nd measles case in Winnipeg man

Manitoba health officials have confirmed the province's second lab-confirmed case of measles in a man from the Winnipeg area.
Dr. Michael Routledge, Manitoba's chief public health officer, says people who aren't sure if they are immunized for measles should check with their health-care provider. (Jill Coubrough/CBC)

Manitoba health officials have confirmed the province's second lab-confirmed case of measles in a man from the Winnipeg area.

The patient, who is in his 20s, had direct contact with an Interlake man who was diagnosed with measles earlier this month, the province announced Tuesday.

There is still no word on how the Interlake man contracted the illness, said Dr. Michael Routledge, the province's chief public health officer.

"As opposed to the first case, this case is related to a population that we tend to see lower immunization rates in," Routledge said.

"So again, for people out there in Manitoba who aren't sure if they've been immunized, this is the time to go out and get immunized."

Health officials are looking for anyone who may have come into contact with the man in the latest measles case at the University of Manitoba on March 20, while he was still contagious.

That day, the man was in the following rooms on campus at the following times:

  • St. Paul's College, Room 215 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Machray Hall, Room 418, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
  • EITC-E2, Room 105, from 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Frank Kennedy study hall, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. and from 5:15 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The patient was at Concordia Hospital's emergency department two days later, on March 22, from 10:15 p.m. and 10:40 p.m.

Anyone who was in those locations at the listed times and thinks they might have measles should call their health-care provider or Health Links at (204) 788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free).

The measles virus is passed through airborne droplets and direct personal contact. (U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention)
Measles cases have been reported in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, mostly related to ongoing outbreaks in the Philippines and the Netherlands.

Routledge said it's too early to tell if the number of measles cases in this province will grow, but he doesn't believe Manitoba will see the kind of outbreak that British Columbia has been dealing with.

"We're still early phases and given, for example, what's going on in British Columbia, where they're having a lot — a significant number — of cases, that's always a potential," he said.

"Do I think that's going to happen in Manitoba? I don't think so."