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Case of measles confirmed in Magrath

Posted on December 6, 2013 by Westwind Weekly

Following the recent outbreak of Measles in and around the city of Lethbridge, one case has now been confirmed in Magrath as well.

Anyone who was at the LDS Stake Centre Church on Sunday, Nov. 17 may have been exposed to this airbourne virus, said Alberta Health Services Communications Official James Frey.

“As soon as someone coughs or sneezes. whatever, the particles basically can reside in the air for up to two hours afterward,” Frey said of the transmitting process. “It doesn’t last too long on hard surfaces like door handles and things like that, it’s more airbourne.”

Those who have symptoms similar to most other respiratory illnesses are encouraged to stay at home and away from school or work.

“If (people) think they have measles, that’s the main way to keep it from spreading – don;t go to school, don’t go to work, because the likelihood that you can spread to someone else is very high,” Frey said.

“Kids are the most susceptible to the complications that arise from the measles, especially children under 12 months.”

Those who contract the virus are immediately susceptible to the 30 per cent complication rate. Which means as many as one-third of the people infected could have anything from ear infections to meningitis, in the worst cases.

“You can get anything from an ear infection, to pneumonia, or deafness in some people and all the way up to meningitis and deaf in some people – but that’s extremely rare,” he said of the possible complications.

Although mass clinics are no longer available to the general public, to be vaccinated, extra appointments are now being facilitated by Public Health Offices, said Frey.

“Kids need two doses of the vaccine. One at 12 months and one at four to five years old. If (parents) think their child hasn’t been immunized then call the Public Health Office,” he said. “Most adults are probably protected – but even then if they aren’t sure and they think they are susceptible then they should call the Public Health Office.”

Most cases vary on severity, depending on whether or not the patient begins to show “the rash.”

“If someone has shown the rash already they may only have to stay home for a few days. The problem with measles is you can spreads the virus without even feeling sick.”

The cause for confusion comes from the diseases ability to mimmick many of the common respiratory illnesses.

“Measles presents very similar to any other respiratory virus until you start seeing that rash.”

For more information on the measles, what to expect or where to book an immunization please visit http://www.albertahealthservics.com, or call 1-866-408-5465.

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