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B.C., southern Ontario in the midst of measles outbreaks


Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, April 1, 2014, 1:49 PM -

Flu season is in full swing in Canada, with measles being reported in B.C, all three prairie provinces and Ontario.

B.C. officials have been working around the clock following an outbreak that started on March 8, possibly in an elementary school, in the east Fraser Valley region.

By March 31, an estimated 320 cases had been reported -- but on Tuesday, the B.C. Ministry of Health announced that the outbreak had been "largely contained."

In Ontario, Hamilton's public health department confirmed a third case on Tuesday, prompting officials to declare an official outbreak.

File photo courtesy: Flickr/NHS Employers

File photo courtesy: Flickr/NHS Employers


RELATED: Get the Health & Flu report for your community


The first southern Ontario patient was diagnosed roughly two weeks ago. It is believed he contracted the virus during a recent visit to the Philippines.

The second patient has raised concerns among health officials, as she visited several restaurants and public places in Hamilton, Burlington and Mississauga between March 22 and March 27, heightening the risk of exposure to the general public.

Frequented areas include:

Mississauga

  • Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park, March 22, between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. 

Burlington

  • The Queen’s Head Pub, March 22, between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
  • Milestones Restaurant, March 23, between 7 p.m. and 12 a.m.
  • Joseph Brant Hospital, March 25, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 a.m., March 26 between 3:30 p.m. and 12 a.m., and March 27 from 11:15 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Waterdown

  • The Mill Street & 5 American House restaurant, March, 23, between 1 a.m. to 2 a.m.
  • The Canada Post outlet on Main St. N., March 24, between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Boston Pizza on Horseshoe Cres., March 24, between 5:15 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
  • The Walmart on Dundas St. E., March 26, between  2 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.

People who may have come into contact with the virus are being advised to check their vaccination records and watch for symptoms to appear within the next two weeks.

SYMPTOMS

Measles is highly contagious with symptoms of the virus typically appearing one to two weeks after infection.

Symptoms include:

  • Prolonged fever
  • Coughing
  • Red eyes
  • A rash
  • Sensitivity to light

The virus usually runs its course with little complications. Pregnant women, people with suppressed immune systems, children and the elderly are most susceptible. In some cases, severe complications can arise.

PREVENTION

  • Wash your hands
  • Check with your doctor to ensure you are fully vaccinated
  • Contact your local public health department if you think you have come into contact with the virus

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