File - In this Feb. 13, 2019, file photo, a health care worker prepares syringes, including a vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), for a child’s inoculations at the International Community Health Services in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

Montreal health authorities moving to contain measles spread after two new cases

Anywhere between 200 and 400 people could have been exposed between May 11-14

Montreal health authorities are trying to track up to 400 people they think may have been exposed earlier in the week to the measles virus.

Authorities have confirmed two secondary cases of the virus linked to a child who contracted the disease abroad, the city’s public health director, Mylene Drouin, said Thursday.

Anywhere between 200 and 400 people could have been exposed between May 11-14, she told reporters.

Drouin published a list of locations the infected people visited along with the time they were there. She said anyone who believes they were in the same locations at the specified times should verify if they have been vaccinated and monitor themselves for symptoms of the illness.

Symptoms of measles include high fever, runny nose, coughing, conjunctivitis and general discomfort.

“We are trying to make sure that we find all the possible contacts and people at risk that may have been in contact with those secondary cases in Montreal,” Dr. Mylene Drouin said, adding anyone who isn’t protected should seek treatment.

ALSO READ: Should parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

ALSO READ: 70% of Canadians agree with mandatory vaccines for children: poll

The locations include a school, a restaurant, a bank, an esthetician, a hotel and a daycare centre.

Health Canada has reported 48 cases of measles in Canada between Jan. 1 and May 4, 2019. The cases were confirmed in Quebec, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads through the air and originates from the nose and throat of an infected person.

Since the beginning of the year, seven cases of measles have been reported in Montreal, but the first five involved exposure to the disease outside country.

Authorities said two people contracted the virus after they came into contact with an infected child on May 2.

One person was a member of the child’s family. Authorities say that case is under control after the family member was isolated while they recovered from the illness.

The second person infected is a health care worked who treated the child. The employee had been vaccinated against the virus but it didn’t provide the expected immunity.

“Every case of measles is an outbreak for us because we have to stop the chain of transmission,” Drouin said Thursday. “But we are more preoccupied by these two cases because we see that there’s a (secondary) transmission, and of course, we need to find those contacts really rapidly.”

ALSO READ: B.C. sees boost in measles vaccines in first month of ‘catch-up’ immunization program

The head of Quebec’s College of Physicians, Dr. Yves Robert, wrote an open letter on the governing body’s website this week promoting the effectiveness of immunization.

Robert wrote that immunization has made it possible to eradicate smallpox and control the spread of other diseases such as diphtheria, rubella and the measles.

“Vaccine efficacy and time unfortunately have an important side effect: forgetfulness,” Robert wrote. “We no longer remember the risks of what we wanted to prevent and we only talk about the side effects of the preventive tool, real or hypothetical.”

Quebec’s last major measles outbreak dates back to 1989 when more than 10,000 cases were reported.

Sidhartha Banerjee, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Woman stabbed in downtown Nelson

Victim is in hospital, suspect is in police custody

Kootenay-Columbia incumbent MP responds to Trudeau brownface scandal

Stetski proud of NDP leader Singh’s reaction, which focused on people not power

Mystery illness killing Kootenay bees

Samples being sent to laboratories for analysis

Marathon variety show for peace starts Friday

“Like the old love-ins and sit-ins.”

Castlegar Rotary fundraiser to feature fashion and prizes

Tickets are still available for the September 26 event.

VIDEO: Trudeau asks Canada to look to current, not past, actions on race

Liberal leader says he never spoke about the racist photo because he was embarrassed

Horvat paces Canucks to 6-1 pre-season win over Oilers

Vancouver improves to 3-1 in NHL exhibition action

Legislature gifts, clothing, travel need better control, B.C. auditor says

Audit follows suspensions of managers by Speaker Darryl Plecas

‘Really disturbing:’ Trudeau’s racist photos worry B.C. First Nation chief

Wet’suwet’en Chief concerned the photos will sow fear in Indigenous communities

‘Unacceptable’: What politicians have to say about Trudeau in blackface

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi: ‘When I saw that picture last night, certainly it was a sucker-punch’

‘He’s trying to kill me’: Victoria police commandeer boats to reach screaming woman

No charges laid and civilians to be awarded honours after incident on Gorge Waterway

VIDEO: B.C. man accused of assaulting sex worker loses temper in interrogation

Defence lawyer says statements made by accused Curtis Sagmoen should be deemed inadmissible

John Horgan promises action after fatal mid-Island bus crash

Premier cites students, local Indigneous community as reason to repair the road

Teens charged in stabbing death of B.C. man in strip mall parking lot

Two youths, aged 15 and 16, charged in Aug. 16 killing of South Surrey’s Paul Prestbakmo

Most Read