What you need to know about Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that presents with fever, cough, runny nose, watery eyes, white spots in mouth, and a red rash that starts at the head and spreads down body.

It is spread through respiratory droplets when a person is talking, coughing, or sneezing.  A person with measles can spread the virus from four days before a rash appears, to four days after onset of rash.

Most people recover completely from measles, but the infection can cause complications such as ear infections, lung infections (pneumonia), inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) and death. If a pregnant woman gets measles, she may be at higher risk of having a miscarriage or premature delivery.

Measles Vaccine

Vaccination is the best protection against measles. Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccines are safe and provide long-lasting protection. Two doses of MMR vaccines are approximately 97% effective in preventing measles infection. The MMR vaccine is offered at 1 year of age and a booster is offered between 4-6 years of age.

 Parents travelling outside of Canada with infants six to 11 months of age should consider obtaining an early dose of the MMR vaccine before travelling in consultation with their health care provider.

York Region Public Health strongly recommends:

  • All parents/guardians review their children’s immunization records and get vaccinated if they have not received two valid doses of measles-containing vaccine (e.g., MMR or MMRV).
  • All residents born on or after 1970 to check their immunizations and get two doses of measles vaccines if they have not been previously vaccinated.
  • Adults born after 1970 who have received one dose of measles vaccine should receive a second dose of measles containing vaccine if they work in healthcare or attending post-secondary institution.

Adults born before 1970 are at reduced risk as they are presumed to have acquired natural immunity to measles through infection. However, individuals who may have been exposed, or those who are planning to travel or attend a post-secondary institution should receive one dose of the MMR vaccine.

Possible Exposure to Measles?

Book a phone call with our RN to confirm immunization status.

How to find out if you are vaccinated against Measles

  • Call our office or check your yellow vaccination card
  • Call Public Health 1-877-464-9675 Ext 7345