FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health is investigating another case of measles in the Saint John area.

“Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and is vaccine-preventable,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.

The case of measles is in the Hampton High School community and linked to a previous confirmed case at Kennebecasis Valley High School.

“Public Health officials are setting up a special immunization clinic to immunize those in the school population who may have been exposed,” said Russell. “A protective dose of vaccine is the best way to protect people who have been exposed to measles within 72 hours, regardless of previous immunization history.”

Early symptoms of the measles may include fever, cough, sore and/or red eyes, runny nose or tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs.

“If these symptoms are present, it is important that you self-isolate and contact Telecare 811 by telephone,” said Russell. “Do not go to go a clinic, physician’s office or emergency room. You must contact Telecare 811 so that necessary measures can be put into place to prevent the spread to others.”

Measles can be prevented with a vaccine. Most people are protected from measles infection from two doses of vaccine. In New Brunswick, the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella is free of charge for babies aged 12 and 18 months.

The measles virus is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person. Measles can be more severe in adults and infants and can lead to complications. All residents are urged to consider vaccination as the best way to protect themselves and their families against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

The number of cases of measles in the Saint John area is 12.

Additional information on measles and immunization is available online.