Measles (Red Measles)

Possible exposure to measles in a food service establishment in Ottawa - October 4, 2019

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health has been informed of a confirmed case of measles in Montreal, with brief travel to Ottawa during the contagious period. Individuals who have visited the following restaurant in Ottawa during the indicated time frame may have been exposed to the measles virus. Individuals who did not visit this location during this time period are not considered to have been exposed to measles. 

Read the latest update about the possible exposure to measles in a food service establishment - October 4, 2019

For immediate release:

October 4, 2019

 

Possible exposure to measles in a food service establishment, Ottawa

 

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health has been informed of a confirmed case of measles in Montreal, with brief travel to Ottawa during the contagious period. Individuals who have visited the following restaurant in Ottawa during the indicated time frame may have been exposed to the measles virus. Individuals who did not visit this location during this time period are not considered to have been exposed to measles. 

 

  • September 22, 2019, 12:30 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., The Grand Pizzeria and Bar, 74 George Street, Ottawa

 

Ottawa Public Health is advising all individuals who may have been exposed to the measles virus in the above location, date, and time to do the following;

 

  • Seek medical attention if they develop symptoms of measles. Signs and symptoms of measles typically develop 7 to 21 days after exposure to an infected person. Individuals should call the health care facility prior to seeking medical attention to inform the health care facility that they have recently been exposed to measles.  

 

After exposure to measles, immunization against measles in those who have not been previously immunized or who have not had measles is only effective in preventing measles if obtained within 72 hours after exposure.

 

However, after an exposure it can be helpful to know your immunization status by checking your immunization record or contacting your health care provider to ensure that they are immune to measles. For more information about measles and immunity please read the content on this page.

 

For additional information on measles and immunization, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca/Measles or call the Ottawa Public Health Information Centre at 613-580-6744 (TTY: 613-580-9656).  

 

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What is measles?
Measles, also called red measles, is a very contagious infection that is caused by the measles virus. It is usually more severe in infants and adults than in children.
What are the symptoms of measles?
Symptoms of measles may develop 7 to 21 days after exposure to an infected person. Symptoms include a high fever, runny nose, cough, drowsiness, irritability and red eyes. Small white spots may appear in the mouth and throat. A red blotchy rash begins to appear on the face 3 to 7 days after the start of symptoms, then spreads down the body to the arms and legs. This rash usually lasts 4 to 7 days. Symptoms generally last from 1 to 2 weeks.
How do you get measles?
Measles is spread when a person comes in contact with an infected person.  It is spread through droplets from the nose, mouth or throat when an infected person is coughing, sneezing or talking.  Measles is one of the most highly communicable diseases.
When is measles contagious?
Measles is highly contagious from 4 days before the rash to 4 days after the onset of rash. Children diagnosed with measles should be excluded from school or childcare facilities until 4 days after the appearance of the rash.
Is measles dangerous?
Complications of a measles infection are rare but can be dangerous. Ear infections are a common complication, 1 in 10 cases will develop pneumonia, 1 in 1,000 cases develop swelling in the brain, and one death occurs for every 3000 cases. Pneumonia accounts for 60% of the deaths due to measles, mostly in infants.
Is there treatment for measles?
There is no specific treatment for measles.  However, individuals may require treatment or hospitalization if they develop serious complications from this infection.
How can I protect myself against measles?
The best way to protect yourself against measles is to receive the measles vaccine. This vaccine is combined with the vaccine for mumps and rubella and is known as the MMR vaccine. MMR is a very safe vaccine. One dose of the measles vaccine provides immunity for 85% to 95% of individuals, and a second dose increases immunity levels to 99%.  The vaccine is given to children at 12 months of age and again at 4 to 6 years of age.
How do I know if I am protected against measles?
After being infected with measles, immunity is generally life long. Immunization with 2 doses of the measles vaccine provides almost 100% protection against measles. Adults born prior to 1970 can be assumed to have acquired natural immunity to measles. Adults born in or after 1970 without evidence of immunity to measles should receive 2 doses of the MMR vaccine. If you are unsure of your immunization status, contact your health care provider.  

What should I do if I develop the symptoms of measles?

If you develop symptoms of measles, you should be assessed by a physician, and notify the health care facility that you plan to visit so that staff are aware of your symptoms prior to your arrival. In the meantime, stay at home to avoid potentially exposing other people ("home isolation"). Measles is diagnosed by a blood test, a urine sample and a nasopharyngeal swab.

For further information call Ottawa Public Health at 613-580-6744, visit OttawaPublicHealth.ca, or visit the websites listed below: 

The measles virus is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person. Early symptoms of measles may include fever, cough, runny nose or tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days after symptom onset, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs. Measles is more severe in adults and infants than in children and can lead to complications. We strongly encourage all residents to consider vaccination as a way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases. If you are unsure of your vaccination status or that of your children, please discuss this with your health care provider. 

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