Sudbury·Audio

Measles case in Elliot Lake: child had 1st vaccine dose, not 2nd

Officials with the Algoma Public Health Unit say people who went to the emergency room in Elliot Lake earlier this month may have been exposed to the measles.
A case of measles has been confirmed in Elliot Lake after a child was found to have contracted the virus. We heard more from Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the Medical Office for the Sudbury and District Health Unit, now covering the Algoma region as well. 9:07
Officials with the Algoma Public Health Unit say people who went to the emergency room in Elliot Lake earlier this month may have been exposed to the measles.

A child in that community has tested positive and was taken to the emergency room on more than one occasion.

Those who went to the ER on Feb. 5, 6, 11 and 13 may have been exposed.

“Anyone attending the hospital emergency department during these time periods is asked to check their immunization status and call Algoma Public Health for assessment,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, acting medical officer of health, in a news release.

“Measles is very contagious and can cause serious disease. Anyone born before 1970 is considered protected against measles but others require one or two doses of vaccine to be protected.”

The health unit’s Jon Bouma said measles can present a variety of symptoms, including high fever, cold-like symptoms, sore eyes or sensitivity to light and a red rash lasting four to seven days,” he said.

"I would not blame the clinician to not suspect measles quickly because it is such a rare disease and our immunization rates are so high that it is quite unlikely, without having an epidemiological to a source of measles."

Bouma said officials are still working to figure out where the child contracted measles.

He noted the child had the first dose of the vaccine, but not the second.

The child attends a daycare, and health officials are working to talk to all parents and staff involved.

The public health unit is recommending that everyone:

  • Check their immunization records to make sure they and family members are up to date with the measles vaccination (MMR or MMRV).
  • For those who are travelling, ensure immunizations are up to date before leaving. This is very important when travelling to the United States, which is currently experiencing outbreaks of measles in several states.

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