Alberta Health Services has declared a Measles Outbreak in Edmonton, Calgary and Central Alberta.
What is Measles? (Taken directly from myhealth.alberta.ca)
Measles, also called rubeola or red measles, is a contagious viral illness. It usually causes a red, non-itchy rash over most of the body.
Other symptoms are similar to those caused by the common cold, such as high fever, coughing, swollen glands, red and irritated eyes, tiredness, and loss of appetite. Although measles is much less common today, it still infects people who have not received the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine or the measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox (varicella) vaccine (MMRV). For example, teenagers or college students who have not been immunized could get measles while they are in their school settings.
If a pregnant woman gets measles, she has a greater chance of miscarrying her baby, delivering her baby prematurely, or delivering a stillborn baby. But measles infection does not cause birth defects.
Treatment for measles includes resting, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking acetaminophen or other non-prescription drugs to relieve symptoms. Most people who have measles recover without complications. But babies, older adults, and people who have impaired immune systems are at greater risk for complications, such as ear infections, strep throat, pneumonia, or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis).
To Quote Alberta Health Services
"Our priority is to vaccinate infants who are currently not protected,” Johnson said. “They are especially at risk. It is a serious disease.”
Early vaccinations will protect infants from measles for six months and will be given in addition to the recommended immunizations at 12 months and between four and six years of age. Parents of four- to six-year-olds are being urged to make certain their children have received their second vaccinations. Under Alberta’s Public Health Care Act, students or staff at any school or child care facility who are exposed to measles and are susceptible are required to stay home.
For a list of open Calgary Measles clinics for vaccination click HERE
I was also in contact with the Medical Officer of Health, Alberta Health Services, Central Zone and he directed me to THIS WEBSITE that is managed by the Canadian Immunization Coalition.
A complete list RECOMMENDED WEBSITES for more information:
http://www.immunize.cpha.ca/en/default.aspx Canadian Coalition for Immunization Awareness & Promotion
http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/ Canadian Paediatric Society
http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/index-eng.php Public Health Agency of Canada
http://www.canadianhealthcarenetwork.ca/ Canadian Health Network
http://www.cdc.gov/ Centres for Disease Control and prevention (U.S.)
http://www.immunizationinfo.org/ National Network for Immunization Information (U.S.)
http://www.immunize.org/ Immunization Action Coalition (U.S.)
http://www.path.org/vaccineresources/ Children's Vaccine Programs ( U.S. & International Partners)
http://www.who.int/immunization/en/ World Health Organization
Calgary residents uncertain of their immunization history, or their child’s immunization history, are also encouraged to contact their local Community Health Centre or Public Health office, or Health Link Alberta (1-866-408-5465) to discuss
For more information on measles disease in Alberta, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/measles.