A health advisory regarding a lab-confirmed case of measles is lighting up social media.
Dr Jia Hu, Medical Officer of Health, AHS Calgary Zone, says while no details regarding age or gender of the infected individual will be released, they can confirm the illness is travel related.
Not wanting to cause mass panic in the community, Dr Hu shares really take note at the dates, locations, and specific time periods for exposure risks. "Specifically for this case, the person who was infectious went to a number of public places during their period of infectiousness where they could spread the measles. For anybody that was in those places during the after-mentioned time period they should watch for signs and symptoms, but if you were NOT in one of those places during the exact time range and date, then you are NOT at risk of getting measles."
While some may be surprised that measles hasn't been eradicated altogether, cases of the disease are still being reported and it is concerning. "Measles is the most infectious disease that we know of and the best way to protect yourself from measles is to become immunized. Part of the reason why we see so few cases of measles is that we have pretty good immunization rates, however, we are seeing more and more measles cases in North America and all over the world."
With more people choosing to delay or just outright refuse vaccinations, the risk of exposure is growing. Getting vaccinated and making sure your immunizations are up to date is extremely important, shares Dr Hu, and the myth of measles being linked to autism, is just that, a myth. "There is absolutely no evidence linking the measles-containing vaccine MMR with autism. The vaccine is extremely safe, it's extremely effective; measles, on the other hand, can cause serious complications. While most people generally do get better on their own, in some people it can cause lung infections, swelling of the brain, and even death, so it is not something to take lightly."
If you are not sure if your vaccinations are up to date, Dr Hu, suggests calling Health Link at 811 and they can tell you if you are up to date or not.
The Calgary zone consisting of Airdrie, Banff, Black Diamond, Calgary, Canmore, Chestermere Claresholm, Cochrane, Didsbury, High River, Nanton, Okotoks, Strathmore, and Vulcan, reported zero measles cases in 2016, one in 2017, and two in 2018.
FOR LOCATIONS, DATES, AND TIME PERIODS OF RELEASED POTENTIAL EXPOSURE, READ THE BELOW LINK.