March 6, 2019: With news reports of an infant infected with measles in Toronto, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is receiving calls from concerned parents about getting their children vaccinated against this highly infectious and potentially dangerous disease.
“Talk to your doctor about vaccinating young children if you are uncertain whether they have been immunized or you are planning to travel in the near future,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, CEO and Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “Measles is rare in Canada, and most cases are travel related where someone picked up the disease in another part of the world. However, we are seeing measles outbreaks in B.C., the United States and now a case in Toronto. Your best defense is getting vaccinated.”
Over 90% of people who are not immune to measles will become infected if they are exposed to the measles virus. Children normally receive their first dose of measles vaccine when they turn one year old, but children as young as six months can receive the vaccine if they are travelling. Following two doses, measles vaccine is nearly 100% effective. The vaccine is safe for children and for women who are breastfeeding.
Measles infection can cause serious illness, particularly in infants. Measles can lead to ear infections, lung infections, swelling of the brain, or death.
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