If your child's vaccinations were performed at our clinic and/or your records were transferred to us from another office, we will have a record of all immunizations. Just give us a call and speak to one of our nurses 905-852-1009 X 1012.
If immunizations were performed elsewhere, Public Health will have a record of all school age/university persons. Give them a call at 1-800-841-2729
The Ontario Public Health Website is also very informative and you can be sure you are getting accurate, up-to-date information.
DO NOT come to the clinic. Read the following and if you think you are experiencing symptoms, call ahead and speak with our staff in order that proper precautions can be put in place prior to your appointment.
What is measles ("red measles", "rubeola")?
Measles is a very easily spread infection of the lungs (respiratory system) caused by a virus.
What are the symptoms of measles?
The measles virus causes a fever, rash, cough, red watery eyes and a runny nose. The red rash starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. Most people with measles are sick for up to 10 days and then recover completely. Symptoms are more severe for infants and adults. Measles can lead to ear infections, lung infection (pneumonia), an infection of the brain (encephalitis), and death. Pregnant women with measles can have premature delivery and miscarriages. Measles does not cause birth defects.
How can I get measles?
Measles is easily spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes, spreading droplets that contain the virus into the air. Less commonly, particles from an infected person can stay in the air for long periods of time and infect others in the same room. Measles is one of the easiest viruses to spread from person to person. It is rarely seen in Canada now due to high vaccination rates.
When is someone with measles contagious?
People infected with measles can spread it to others 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears.
Who is at risk of getting measles?
Infants under the age of 1 are most at risk because measles vaccine is not given until children are 1 year of age or older. Anyone born on or after January 1, 1970 who is not vaccinated and who has never had measles infection is at risk. People born before 1970 have likely developed immunity to the virus and may be protected; the exception is for health care workers, post-secondary students, military personnel and travelers who must ensure they have received measles-containing vaccine, or laboratory evidence of immunity, or a history of laboratory confirmed measles disease.
If I have been in contact with someone who had measles, how long before I can get symptoms?
Symptoms usually appear 10 days after contact with an infected individual but can range from 7 to 21 days. The rash usually appears 10-14 days after exposure.
Can I get measles more than once?
No. Once someone has had measles they are protected for life.
How is measles diagnosed?
Measles can be diagnosed by the common signs and symptoms combined with laboratory tests.
How is measles treated?
There is no specific treatment for measles. Supportive care in hospital may be needed for severe infections, but most people can recover at home. If you think you have measles, it is important to speak to a doctor before visiting the doctor’s office so that the infection is not passed to others.
What can I do to prevent measles?
If you were born since January 1st, 1970, getting vaccinated is the best way of preventing infection.
What is the measles vaccine?
Measles vaccine comes in two types, a combined MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine and MMRV (measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox) vaccine. Two doses provide over 95% protection against all diseases. Vaccination also makes the diseases milder for those who may catch them.
How effective is the MMR Vaccine?
The MMR Vaccines protects against measles in close to 100% of those who receive two doses of vaccine. Someone who has had the vaccine may still get measles, however, the recovery is faster and the symptoms tend to be very mild.
Who should get measles vaccine?
In Ontario, all children routinely receive two measles vaccinations. The first is given as MMR vaccine at 12 months of age. The second is given before school entry between four and six years of age as MMRV.
Infants are eligible to receive the vaccine as early as six months of age, and children can receive their second dose before 4-6 years of age, if travelling to places where measles is a particular concern because of local outbreaks. If the first dose is given prior to one year of age, two additional doses will be required after the child is one year of age.
Adults born before 1970 are generally presumed to have acquired natural immunity to the measles; however some of these individuals may be susceptible. A second dose of MMR is particularly recommended for adults in the following groups:
Young adults (18 -25 years of age)
Post secondary students
Persons born between 1967 and 1970 received the attenuated vaccine and should get a booster shot
Health care workers
Those who plan to travel internationally
Anyone who has recently attended high school and is unsure of their vaccination history, may contact the Public Health Department in their community to obtain their vaccination record which they provided at the time of attendance.
A blood test is available to determine if someone has immunity to measles if there is uncertainty regarding someone’s immunization history. This decision is made between the doctor and patient.
If you have any further questions or concerns please give our nurses a call at 905-852-1009 X 1012.
What can I do if I come into contact with someone who has measles?
If an unvaccinated person comes into contact with someone who has measles, there are two ways to prevent infection. First, they can get measles vaccine, which can prevent infection if given within 72 hours of contact with an infected person. Second, they can get an immunoglobulin injection if this is done within 6 days of coming into contact with an infected person. Immunoglobulin is a blood product containing antibodies that help prevent infection. It is usually given to people who are at risk of severe complications from measles, such as infants, pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system.
Is the MMR vaccine safe?
Yes. Most people will have no side effects. Serious side effects from the vaccine are very rare. Side effects are less common after the second dose of the vaccine.
Who should not get the MMR vaccine? What should I do if I think I may have measles?
The MMR vaccine should not be given if you:
- Have high fever or serious infection more severe than a cold. It is better to wait until you recover before getting the MMR vaccine.
- Are pregnant, think you may be pregnant or are trying to become pregnant.
- Have a severe allergy to a previous dose of MMR or any component of the vaccine including gelatin or an antibiotic called neomycin.
- Have recently received a blood product (e.g. serum immune globulin). You should wait 3 to 12 months before getting the MMR shot depending upon which blood product you received.
- Have had a live vaccine (e.g. chickenpox vaccine) in the last 28 days. You should wait 28 days before getting the MMR shot.
Check with your doctor if you have a weakened immune system that lowers the body’s ability to fight infections (such as HIV, cancer or taking certain medications).
Our Nurses would be happy to talk to you at 905-852-1009 X 1012
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