Ontario’s top doctor warns of potential increase in measles cases

Toronto (Feb 21) – Ontario’s top doctor issued a warning to local public health agencies to prepare for a potential increase in the number of measles cases after two were confirmed in the Greater Toronto Area last week.

Dr. Kieran Moore sent a memo to public health agencies on Tuesday citing a “dramatic” global rise in the number of measles cases, according to Global News.

“While measles is no longer considered endemic in Canada, outbreaks can happen when susceptible individuals (e.g., unvaccinated) travel to and return from countries where measles is circulating,” Global News quoted Moore’s memo as saying.

The two confirmed cases reported in Toronto and Mississauga were both linked to travel.

Moore said that Canada currently has four measles cases, including the two in Ontario.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily to those who are not immunized or have not previously had measles. Infants under one year of age, unimmunized pregnant individuals, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications.

Measles symptoms including red rash, fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and fatigue. It spreads through the air and close contact, such as breathing, coughing or sneezing. Vaccinations are highly effective in preventing the spread of measles.

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