Have You Had Your Measles Vaccine?

Written by Comms Team, March 5, 2024

Residents are encouraged to get up to date with their measles vaccines

Measles cases are rapidly increasing globally. In Ontario, five cases of measles have been reported over the past few weeks. Peterborough Public Health (PPH) is strongly urging residents, especially parents of young children, to review their immunization records and get up to date with measles vaccines.

“There are cases in the country being linked to travel. For those travelling this time of year, we are urging residents to avoid bringing home measles as their souvenir,” says Dr. Thomas Piggott, Medical Officer of Health and CEO for Peterborough Public Health. “Measles is a highly infectious virus that can be deadly for those who are not protected. Receiving a vaccine is the best protection against an infection.”

Dr. Piggott adds, “Children who have not received the measles vaccine and pregnant individuals are at the highest risk for a measles infection. Vaccination against measles is the best way to avoid an infection.” Two doses of the Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) vaccine or the Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Varicella (MMRV) vaccine are available free of charge for everyone in Ontario from a healthcare provider. While immunization may take 2-3 weeks to provide full protection, ensuring protection before travel for March break, or being protected in general, is still important for everyone.

Residents are encouraged to review their immunization records online or over the phone, consult their yellow book record or contact their health care provider to determine if they are protected against measles. Residents born after the year 1970 who have not had a measles vaccine or who are unsure about receiving a measles vaccine are encouraged to receive at least one dose before travelling from their health care provider. Residents born before 1970 are assumed to have had measles in childhood and considered protected, although in some cases after discussion with your health care provider on individual risk vaccination is still considered. Staying up to date with the measles vaccine is still recommended for those who have returned from travel or do not plan to travel.

Those who have returned from travel are encouraged to monitor for signs and symptoms of measles. Symptoms usually appear 4-14 days after exposure to the virus and include,

  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Red and watery eyes
  • High fever
  • Small white spots inside the cheeks and mouth
  • Rash typically presents day 7-18 and can appear all over the body

If you experience any of these symptoms after travel please contact your healthcare provider via phone and avoid attending any public settings.

If you believe you have been in contact with the measles virus while travelling, it is recommended you,

  • Return to Canada wearing a well-fitting mask (preferably N95/KN95 style)
  • Limit unnecessary contact with others
  • Monitor closely for symptoms

Learn more about the measles virus and risk associated with it – https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/your-health/measles/

Review the Ontario Routine Immunization Schedule – https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-routine-immunization-schedule

Review your immunization record or your child’s – https://pcchu.icon.ehealthontario.ca/


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