FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Office of the Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising the public of a potential exposure to a confirmed case of measles in an individual who  recently worked in the Greater Moncton region.

“Measles is a very serious disease that is vaccine preventable,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health.

Public Health officials are working closely with local health care providers, hospitals, and with public health officials in Montreal where the confirmed case was recently declared. Preliminary reports advise that an individual worked in the Greater Moncton region between Sept. 19 and Sept. 20 before travelling to Montreal via commercial airline.

During this period, the individual frequented several public places including the Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airport and the Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Dieppe.

Individuals were potentially exposed to the measles if they:

  • were at the hotel between 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 19 and 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 20;
  • were at the airport, departures area, on Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; or
  • were on Air Canada Flight 8903 from Moncton to Montreal on Sept. 20, which departed at 11:15 a.m.

Those exposed could have already developed symptoms or could do so between now and Oct. 11.

“Public Health officials advise all individuals who were potentially exposed to check their immunization records or contact their health-care provider if they are unsure about their immunization status,” said Russell.

Early symptoms of the measles may include fever, cough, red eyes, 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.

Anyone who was at these locations during these times and feel they have symptoms consistent with measles should isolate themselves by staying home and avoid all contact with unimmunized people. Call your health-care provider or 811 before visiting a clinic or hospital to ensure precautions are in place to protect other patients.

Measles can be prevented with a vaccine. Most people are protected from measles infection from two doses of vaccine. Vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella (MMRV) is free of charge for babies aged 12 and 18 months. Adults born in 1970 or later can receive free measles vaccine (MMR) if they have not already had two doses. Adults born before 1970 are considered immune to measles.

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. Those who are unsure of their vaccination status, or that of their children, are urged to discuss this with their health-care provider.

Additional information on measles and immunization is available online.