Residents encouraged to ensure up-to-date measles vaccination

With the number of measles cases increasing globally and travel expected during March break, Niagara Region Public Health is encouraging all residents to ensure they are fully vaccinated against measles and seek vaccine if not. 

While measles is no longer considered endemic in Canada, outbreaks can happen when susceptible individuals (e.g., unvaccinated) travel to and return from countries where measles is circulating.

Vaccination provides protection against measles and prevents the virus’ spread.

Due to the risk of measles when travelling outside of Canada, the following is recommended before travel:

  • Infants six to 11 months of age are eligible to receive one dose of measles-containing vaccine. Infants who receive a dose of measles-containing vaccine before 12 months of age will still need to be vaccinated according to the routine schedule beginning at 12 months
  • Adults who have received only one dose of measles-containing vaccine can get a second dose for travel

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus. It spreads easily when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. Symptoms often start with a cough, runny nose, red watery eyes, and fever. About three to seven days after symptoms begin, a rash that looks like small red spots develops on the face and spreads down the body. Small, white spots may also appear inside the mouth.

If you think you may have measles, please seek medical care. When seeking care, you must call ahead to the doctor’s office, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. This will allow health care staff to take the appropriate precautions to prevent further spread of measles.

For more information about measles, the vaccination schedule, and where to get vaccinated, please visit www.niagararegion.ca/health.

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