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Travel-related case of measles identified in Nova Scotia

Health officials are trying to track down people who may have been exposed from March 10 to March 15.
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Measles_virus
The measles virus in a photo taken through an electron microscope. (WIKIPEDIA)

Nova Scotia health officials are trying to track down people who may have been exposed to the measles virus earlier this month. 

A travel-related case of the virus has been identified and may be related to the following locations and times, the Nova Scotia health authority said in a news release Monday:

  • WestJet flight WS254 — departed Toronto on March 10 at 9:35 p.m. and arrived in Halifax at 12:32 a.m. on March 11. 
  • Arrivals area at Halifax Stanfield International Airport — March 11 from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.
  • St. Jerome’s Catholic Church, West Caledonia — March 11 from 1:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Emergency department at South Shore Regional Hospital — from March 12 at 2:30 p.m. to March 15 at 9 p.m.

Those exposed at the above locations may develop symptoms between now and April 5, the release said. 

Symptoms of the measles include:

  • fever, cough, runny nose
  • red eyes
  • a red blotchy rash on the face, which spreads down the body
  • sleepiness
  • irritability (feeling cranky or in a bad mood)
  • small white spots may also show up inside the mouth and throat

People with these symptoms can call Public Health at 1-844-856-3677 or 811 for advice from a registered nurse. 

Those who want to see a health-care provider such as a family doctor should call ahead. Special precautions must be taken to protect other patients from being exposed.  

"Measles is a viral illness and most people fully recover within two to three weeks," the health authority said. "However, measles can have serious complications, which are more likely in infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems."

Public Health has been directly notifying family members and friends who have had close contact with the travel-related case.

This case is not linked to the outbreak that affected seven people in the province last month.  

The health authority noted that Nova Scotia residents born after 1970 are eligible to receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine at no cost through the publicly funded immunization program.



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