Sudbury

Check records to make sure you're fully vaccinated, health unit says

A nurse with the Public Health Sudbury and Districts is advising people to check their vaccination records for measles.

Measles cases have been reported across the country

Public Health Officials says you should check your vaccination records to make sure they are up to date. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

A nurse with the Public Health Sudbury and Districts is advising people to check their vaccination records for measles.    

Health Canada says 33 cases of measles have been reported in the country so far this year. These cases were reported by Quebec, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Alberta. The virus is also circulating in several countries.

Lisanne Dabous, a public health nurse in Sudbury, says depending on when you were born, you may be fully protected.

"For those who were born prior to 1970, it is assumed that they have natural immunity from either having had the disease or being exposed to the disease in childhood," she said.

"Those born after 1970 likely have one dose on file. After that, it did change to the two dose series."

Dabous says it's especially important to make sure your vaccinations are up to date before travelling to an area where measles cases are present. However, she warns that even if your vaccinations are up to date, no vaccine is 100 per cent effective.

"Those who are immunized do have a higher protection," she said. "If they were to develop the virus, it would be at a much lesser severity."

The last reported case of measles in Sudbury was in 2014, Dabous said.

"An outbreak is unlikely but not impossible," she said.

"We do want people to look into their immunization records, their vaccination history, specifically right now if they're travelling to an area where there is measles activity."

Dabous says symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, a cough, red eyes followed by a red rash.

If you suspect you have contracted the virus, she recommends calling your doctor before you go to the office to avoid spreading it.

With files from Kate Rutherford

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