New Brunswick

Public Health warns of possible measles exposure in Moncton area

New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health is warning people in the greater Moncton area they may have been exposed to a confirmed case of measles.

Infected individual in Montreal was in the Moncton region Sept. 19-20, says Dr. Jennifer Russell

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, said anyone exposed to the confirmed case could develop symptoms by Oct. 11. (CBC)

New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health is warning people in the greater Moncton area they may have been exposed to a confirmed case of measles.

Preliminary reports indicate the infected individual, who was diagnosed in Montreal, worked in the Moncton area Sept. 19 and 20, Dr. Jennifer Russell said in a statement Wednesday.

People were potentially exposed to the highly contagious respiratory disease if they:

  • Were at the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Dieppe between 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 19 and 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 20.
  • Were at the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport's departures area on Sept. 20, between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • Were on Air Canada flight 8903 from Moncton to Montreal on Sept. 20, at 11:15 a.m.

Measles is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected individual.

Anyone exposed to the virus may have already developed symptoms or could do so by Oct. 11, said Russell.

Early symptoms may include fever, cough, runny nose, red or sore eyes, sleepiness, irritability and tiny white spots in the mouth.

About three to seven days after those symptoms start, the telltale red blotchy rash usually develops on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body.

People can be contagious for about four days before the rash appears.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms should self-isolate and call Tele-Care, the provincial health information line, for advice by dialling 811, said Russell.

If they seek medical attention, they should call ahead before visiting a doctor's office, clinic or hospital so precautions can be put in place to protect other patients, she said.

Comes after Saint John outbreak

Earlier this year, a measles outbreak in the Saint John health region saw 12 people fall ill before the outbreak was declared over on July 8.

The first confirmed case, announced on April 26, was an individual who had recently travelled to Europe and visited the Saint John Regional Hospital's emergency department, as well as the Halifax Infirmary's ER.

The virus spread to Kennebecasis Valley High School in Quispamsis after someone from the school came into contact with that individual at the Saint John ER.

The final case, which was announced on June 1, was someone at Hampton High School.

Measles can be prevented with a vaccine. (Canadian Press)

Measles can be more severe in infants and adults born after 1970. Complications can include ear infections, pneumonia, blindness and swelling of the brain, which can cause seizures, deafness, brain damage or death.

If contracted during pregnancy, it can cause miscarriage, premature labour, and low birth weight.

Since October 1995, all children born in New Brunswick have been offered two free doses of the measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (chicken pox), or MMRV, vaccine, which is generally about 97 per cent effective.

The doses are routinely given at 12 months and 18 months of age.

Adults born in 1970 or later can receive a free measles vaccine (MMR) if they have not already had two doses.

People born before 1970 are considered immune.

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