Toronto

Patient with measles might have spread disease in several locations, Toronto Public Health warns

Health officials in Toronto have confirmed a case of measles in a patient who arrived in the city by air from London, England last weekend, and are warning people who might have been exposed to the disease to get tested.

Patient flew to Toronto from London, England last Saturday

Toronto Public Health officials say travellers at Pearson airport, patrons at Tennessee Tavern and visitors at St. Joseph's Health Centre between Aug.19 and Aug. 24 may have been exposed to measles. (Mike Hutmatcher/Wichita Eagle/The Canadian Press)

Health officials in Toronto have confirmed a case of measles in a patient who arrived in the city by air from London, England last weekend, and are warning people who might have been exposed to the disease to get tested.

While it's not clear where the highly-contagious infection stems from, Toronto Public Health warns others may have been exposed to it in a number of locations between Saturday, Aug. 19 and Thursday, Aug. 24.

  • August 19: Pearson International Airport at 9:30 p.m. from a British Airways flight BA0099 that departed from London's Heathrow airport at 5 p.m. 
  • August 19: Pearson International Airport's Terminal 3, from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.
  • August 19: Tennessee Tavern, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m.
  • August 22: St. Joseph's Health Centre emergency department, cystoscopy or fracture clinic, from 7 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • August 23: St. Joseph's Health Centre emergency department, cystoscopy or fracture clinic, from 9:30 a.m. and 11:59 p.m.
  • August 23: St. Joseph's Health Centre diagnostic imaging department, from 1:15 p.m. and 4 p.m., and between 8:45 p.m. and 11:30 p.m.
  • August 24: St. Joseph's Health Centre emergency department, cystoscopy or fracture clinic, from midnight and 10 a.m. 

Anyone who may have been exposed to the illness is asked to check their health records to make sure both they and family members have received both doses of the measles vaccination (MMR and MMRV).

It is recommended that those born after 1970 receive two vaccinations to avoid getting the illness, according to health officials. 

Symptoms usually appear within 21 days of exposure. Public Health says Torontonians should watch for signs and symptoms, which include:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Sore eyes or sensitivity to light
  • Small spots with a white centre on the inside of the mouth
  • Red rash that lasts from four to seven days.

Health officials say if you think you have measles, call a medical facility ahead of time instead of just showing up at one, as you could be exposing others to the illness. It's also important to describe your symptoms over the phone and reveal where you may have visited.

The agency will hold a free measles vaccine clinic for anyone who may have visited the departments at St. Joseph's Health Centre between August 23 or 24. It will be held on August 26 at the Etobicoke Civic Centre (399 The West Mall) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Measles is a highly-infectious illness that is treatable. However, infants under the age of one, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems can suffer severe complications.