New Brunswick

Nearly 500 Hampton High students, staff immunized against measles at special clinic

Nearly 500 Hampton High students and staff received the measles vaccine during a special immunization clinic at the school on Sunday, say health officials.

Public Health hosted school clinic Sunday to offer protective dose of vaccine to anyone exposed to latest case

A protective dose of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine is the best way to protect people who have been exposed to measles within 72 hours, according to health officials. (CBC)

Nearly 500 Hampton High students and staff received the measles vaccine during a special immunization clinic at the school on Sunday, say health officials.

Public Health hosted the clinic after someone at the school became the latest confirmed case in the ongoing measles outbreak in the Saint John health region.

There are now 12 people with the highly contagious respiratory disease that's transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected individual.

The Hampton case is linked to Kennebecasis Valley High School in Quispamsis, where nine of the cases are based. The other two are connected to the Saint John Regional Hospital's emergency department.

Anyone present at Hampton High on May 30 or 31 may have been exposed, Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, has said.

In a letter to Hampton High parents on Friday, Dr. Cristin Muecke, deputy chief medical officer of health, estimated about 18 of the school's approximately 600 students "could be vulnerable."

If the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine is administered within 72 hours of possible exposure, it can provide retroactive protection, regardless of previous immunization history, according to officials.

Public Health is reserving its vaccine supply for those most at risk during the outbreak — infants and people who have had direct contact with somebody with measles.

Hampton High School has 543 students and 44 staff, according to its website. (CBC)

People who used Vet's Taxi in Saint John last week may have come into contact with the virus, Russell announced on Friday.

The dates and times in question include:

  • May 22 from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • May 24 from 9:40 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • May 25 from 2:45 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. to 9:10 p.m.
  • May 26 from 12:50 p.m. to 3:05 p.m.

Measles symptoms, which can take up to 18 days after infection to begin, 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.

People born before 1970 are considered immune to measles and anyone who has already had it is considered protected for life.

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