Measles confirmed in Quebec

Measles confirmed in Quebec

Two cases of measles confirmed in Quebec

Public Health Québec confirms the appearance of the first two cases of measles in the Capitale nationale region, one of which is a secretary who works at the Clinique Saint-Louis de Sainte-Foy.

The first infected person, aged in their twenties, contracted the disease outside the country, in India. She consulted at the Clinique Saint-Louis in the period from 27 March to 4 April, when it was contagious.

Public health has confirmed on Thursday that a person in their thirties working at this clinic, a secretary, was also infected. They are doing relatively well. The first person was hospitalized, but is now on track to recovery.

“As these two cases are connected, it is called hatching. We hope this will stop there. We are in touch with the staff of the medical clinic to identify people who have been in contact with these infections, “says Dr. Jasmin Villeneuve, medical adviser to the Department of Public Health of Quebec.

All St. Louis Clinic employees were instructed to monitor their temperature every day; if symptoms present themselves, staff will be evaluated immediately.

At the clinic, it was said that in addition to the secretary catching measles, another secretary was removed from the workplace as a precaution. The medical officer, Dr. Pierre Lachance, confirmed that dozens of people considered “at risk” that have been in contact with the infected employee may be contacted by the public health system. “There is no danger to anyone coming to the clinic” he says.

The last measles case dated back to 2011 in the Quebec City area. The two identified cases have no connection with the dozens of cases reported in the Lanaudière region in recent weeks, said Dr. Villeneuve.
After being notified of the first cases in the region, public health, Quebec has quickly implemented various measures to sensitize the people who have been in contact with this person.

In 2011, a large outbreak of measles has affected several Quebec regions, mainly affecting young people aged between 5 and 19 years.

Quebec experienced other outbreaks of measles in 2007. The largest epidemic since the introduction of the vaccination program against measles occurred in 1989 in the province.

More than 10,000 cases were then reported, mostly in young schoolchildren. According to the Ministry of Health, of 656 hospitalizations, ten people have suffered cerebral complications (encephalitis), while they registered seven deaths.

“People born before 1970 are protected from measles, because they have been exposed to the virus or that they have contracted. People born between 1970 and 1980 received one dose instead of two doses given in 1981. Our population is mostly well vaccinated against measles, “says Dr. Villeneuve.

Measles remains highly contagious throughout the world, one of the leading causes of death in young children, while there is a safe and effective vaccine to prevent this serious infection, said the Ministry of Health.

It was once one of the most common childhood infections in North America. In the early 1960s, more than 500,000 children were infected every year. The discovery of the vaccine against measles, in 1965, reversed the spread of this disease.

Measles resurfaced due to a relaxation of vaccination. It is easily spread through the air. The virus can survive in the air for several hours.

The mere fact of sharing the same space with an infected person during a short period of time is enough to be infected.

Measles is characterized by high fever, runny nose and cough. Redness in the face and all over the body, including the palms of the hands and feet appear thereafter.

Infected people experience sensitivity to light and eye pain with watery eyes. The illness lasts one to two weeks. The incubation period is from 7 to 14 days. The person is contagious four days before the rash appears until four days later.

There is no specific treatment for this disease. Among the possible complications, ear infections are the most common. Encephalitis can occur in one in 1,000 and the death in one in 3,000.

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