UPDATED: People may have been exposed to measles at school, rec centre and medical clinic
Alberta Health Services is warning people of more possible measles exposure in Red Deer and Blackfalds as another probable case has been identified.
In February, three cases in Alberta Health Services Central Zone were confirmed by the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg. As well, one case in March has been confirmed. The newest case has not yet been confirmed.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, AHS Central Zone medical officer of health, said the latest person started feeling ill on April 5.
“That means they would have been infectious the day before the illness started,” Hinshaw said on Friday.
Of the two most recent cases, one person is hospital and one is recovering at home.
People who were at the following locations in Red Deer and Blackfalds may have been exposed:
l Mattie McCullough Elementary School, 26 Lawford Ave. in Red Deer, from 8:40 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on April 4, 8 and 9.
l Abbey Master Builder Centre, 4500 Womacks Road, the recreation centre in Blackfalds, from noon to 3 p.m. on April 5.
l Village Mall Medical Clinic, 22 6320 50th Ave. in Red Deer, from 8:10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on April 9.
About 100 people at risk at the school have already been notified. Only those notified directly are considered at risk.
Letters are going out to patients at the Village Clinic who are at risk of exposure, but AHS does not have the ability to contact people who were at the Blackfalds recreation centre.
Hinshaw said AHS is working with the Village Mall Medical Clinic to provide post-exposure treatment to their high risk patients.
AHS recommends others who aren’t up to date with immunizations and may have been exposed to wait three weeks before they are vaccinated.
“As much as we’d really love for them to be up to date with vaccines, we also don’t want them to spread measles in our vaccine waiting room so we ask that they wait for three weeks after exposure.”
She said vaccine must be given within three days of exposure or it won’t help so likely there is nothing that can prevent measles for those recently exposed if they aren’t immune.
Hinshaw said people should still also be mindful of the possible exposure sites that AHS announced last week.
“People can get sick up to three weeks after exposure to measles.”
Measles exposure was possible at the following locations in late March in Red Deer:
l Real Canadian Superstore, including Horizon Family Medicine, 5016 51st Ave., between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on March 26.
l The Village Mall Medical Clinic, 22-6320 50th Ave., from 2 to 7 p.m. on March 27 and from noon to 4 p.m. on March 30.
l Dynalife Laboratory, 101-5002 55th St., from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on March 28.
“This new probable case was almost certainly exposed in one of those locations,” Hinshaw said.
AHS Central Zone had no measles cases in 2013 or 2012.
Measles can lead to pneumonia and, in rare cases, even death. Symptoms include a fever of 38.3C or higher, a cough, runny nose and/or red eyes and a red blotchy rash that appears three to seven days after the fever starts, and sensitive eyes.
A two-dose measles vaccine is recommended to everyone born in 1970 or after. People born before then are considered to likely be immune. Vaccination is offered free of charge through Alberta’s immunization program.
Anyone with symptoms should call Health Link Alberta at 1-866-408-5465 before visiting any health care facility or health care provider.