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BCHU confirms case of measles in local child resident

Brant County Health UnitBCHU confirms case of measles in local child resident

The Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) received confirmation of a case of measles in a child resident of Brantford-Brant on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

The illness was acquired during recent travel to Europe. The individual is currently hospitalized.

BCHU is currently investigating and following up with known contacts who may have been exposed to the measles virus through this individual.

At this time, our investigation has determined that those at the following locations may have been exposed to the measles virus:

  • Lufthansa Flight 6584 aka. Air Canada flight 857 from from London Heathrow, United Kingdom to Pearson International Airport, on February 23, 2024 between the hours of 3 p.m. (local London time) and 5:55 p.m. (local Toronto time).
  • Pearson International Airport – Terminal 1 on February 23, 2024, between the hours of 5:55 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Brantford General Hospital – Emergency Department on February 23, 2024, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 2:02 a.m.
  • McMaster Children’s Hospital – Emergency Department on February 24, 2024, between the hours of 6:51 a.m. to 2:09 p.m.

Our investigation has determined there are no school-related exposures related to the individual.

“Measles is a serious illness, but it is preventable. Studies show that the measles vaccine (MMR) is 99 per cent effective in preventing measles after two doses. It’s important for all Ontarians to ensure they are fully vaccinated against measles, especially before traveling,” said Dr. Rebecca Comley, Medical Officer of Health for Brant County Health Unit (BCHU).

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the measles virus should do the following:

  • Check their immunization record to confirm they and their family members are up to date with their measles vaccinations (MMR or MMRV). Those who are unsure of their vaccination status are asked to check with their healthcare provider. Two doses of the vaccine are generally recommended for anyone born after 1969. In general, those born before 1970 are considered protected against measles.
  • Watch for symptoms of measles, even if individuals are up to date with the measles vaccine.
  • Anyone experiencing symptoms should first contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss follow-up recommendations and should not attend work or school. People who are concerned about symptoms should call their healthcare provider before going to see them, informing them that they may have been in contact with someone who has measles.

Measles is a highly contagious illness caused by a virus. The virus is spread easily from person to person, more than 90 per cent of persons exposed at home to a child with measles, will catch it. It is an airborne disease that is spread simply by breathing in air that contains the measles virus. The measles virus can live in the air for up to two hours when a person has coughed or sneezed. It may also be spread by direct contact with the nose or throat droplets of an infected person.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • red rash
  • fever
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • red eyes
  • fatigue

A person with measles is contagious from four days before to four days after the rash appears. Symptoms may start around 10 days after exposure but can start anywhere from seven to 21 days after exposure. Symptoms generally last for one to two weeks.

There is no treatment for measles. Vaccinations are highly effective in preventing the virus’ spread. Children should be immunized with the measles vaccine (MMR) as soon as possible after their first birthday and receive a booster before starting school.

Anyone experiencing symptoms should first contact their healthcare provider, or if not available, call BCHU at 519-753-4937 ext. 454. For more information about measles, please visit bchu.org/measles.

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