WATCH: Measles case confirmed in Edmonton region – Edmonton Journal

WATCH: Measles case confirmed in Edmonton region - Edmonton Journal
Potential measles exposure in Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Nisku
Dr. Chris Sikora, medical officer of health for Alberta Health Services Edmonton zone, alerted the public on Monday that an adult with a case of the measles may have exposed others.

A person with lab-confirmed measles visited Edmonton, Sherwood Park and Nisku while infectious last week, says Alberta Health Services.  

AHS said those who were exposed between May 9 and 17 are no longer eligible for preventative vaccine as it would not be effective, but that these individuals should review their immunization history and arrange vaccination if they have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine.

"It highlights and serves as a reminder that communicable disease — measles is one of these — is a simple plane ride away," he said. "We have to take that time to consider where are we going, what are the activities we want to do there, and is there an ability to protect ourselves with either immunizations or other medications to help ensure that ourselves and the people that we travel with remain healthy."

People who were born after 1970 may still be at risk for developing measles–even if they were not at the above locations–if they have not had measles previously or received two doses of the measles vaccine.

Other people who were in the same places during those dates and times may have been exposed to measles, an extremely contagious disease which is spread easily through the air. There is no treatment for the potentially fatal disease, which can cause seizures and brain damage.

Symptoms can include a fever above 38.3 C; a cough, runny nose and/or red eyes; and a red blotchy rash that appears three to seven days after the fever starts. The rash most commonly begins behind the ears and on the face, and spreads down the body to arms and legs.

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

As well, people who were at the above locations and who are pregnant, less than one year old or have a weakened immune system due to disease or medication are recommended to call Health Link at 811 for further assessment. They may be eligible for prophylactic medication to prevent measles.

People who many have been exposed to measles during this period, May 9 to May 17, are no longer eligible for a preventative vaccine, as it's effective only up to three days after exposure, Sikora said.

More information regarding immunization history and vaccination can be found by calling Health Link at 811 or online.

Alberta Health Services is warning the public that a person with infectious, lab-confirmed measles has been in public settings in Sherwood Park, Nisku and Edmonton this month.

This article has been edited to correct a potential exposure location. AHS previously said the infectious person visited the Strathcona County Health Centre Emergency Department on May 16, when in fact they had gone to the Strathcona Community Hospital. 

"If people are susceptible or people haven't been adequately protected against measles, they may actually contract the disease unfortunately quite efficiently."