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AHS confirms case of measles in Calgary, prompts public alert

A 3-D illustration shows the structure of the measles virus.  (Shutterstock - image credit)
A 3-D illustration shows the structure of the measles virus. (Shutterstock - image credit)

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has confirmed that a person with lab-confirmed measles was in public settings in Calgary while infectious, prompting an alert to those who may have been exposed.

In an e-mailed statement on Tuesday night, the health agency said that individuals who were in the following locations, during the specified dates and times, may have been exposed to measles.

  • Nov. 23: Air Canada flight AC206 Vancouver (YVR) to Calgary (YYC). Exposure time period: Duration of flight. Departed Nov. 23 11:20 a.m., and arrived Nov. 23 12:45 p.m. Exposure location: Calgary International Airport, domestic arrivals. Exposure time period: 12:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

  • Nov. 24.:Alberta Children's Hospital in the emergency department waiting room. Exposure time period: 4:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

  • Nov. 27: Alberta Children's Hospital in the emergency department waiting room. Exposure time period: 1:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.

AHS said anyone who believe they may have been exposed to measles at these locations are encouraged to review their immunization records and call HealthLink 811 for advice, and monitor themselves for symptoms.

Those who have less than two documented doses of measles-containing vaccine, or those who were born after 1970 are at risk of developing measles if exposed.

Some individuals, including those who have received fewer than two doses of measles-containing vaccine, those who are pregnant, under one year of age. or have a weakened immune system, may be eligible to receive medication to prevent measles, said AHS.

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a red blotchy rash that appears three to seven days after fever starts. The rash begins behind the ears and on the face before spreading down the body to arms and legs.

AHS said that measles is extremely contagious and is easily spread through the air.

There is no treatment for measles.