Public health advisory issued after confirmed case of measles

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As one case of measles has been confirmed through lab testing, the NWT health department is recommending residents stay alert for symptoms.

The person with the confirmed measles infection travelled by air from outside Canada to Inuvik on February 13, an advisory by the acting chief public health officer states.

“This case involves an individual who travelled from an international destination to Inuvik by airplane. The journey returning to Inuvik took them through Yellowknife and Norman Wells on February 13.”

Those born before 1970 or those who have had two doses of vaccine containing measles are not considered at risk. The health department is advising anyone at risk who travelled between Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Inuvik last Wednesday should monitor for symptoms, which include:

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  •  Fever
  • Dry cough
  •  Runny nose
  •  Inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis)
  •  Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the
    mouth on the inner lining of the cheek
  •  A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another

If people experience these symptoms, they are advised to stay at home and phone their doctor or health care provider immediately. Signs and symptoms appear a week to 21 days after exposure to measles

Measles is a highly contagious disease. It can be spread through the air, touching surfaces or contact with an infected person such as “kissing, sharing food and drinks, sharing cigarettes and sharing toys.” The best protection, the health department states, is vaccination.

“All children 12 months and over, and all adults born on or after 1970 should get this

For more information, visit health canada’s website.
The health department states within six days of exposure to measles, preventative treatment can be effective in reducing the risk of developing the disease.

The health department is conducting ‘priority contact tracing’ in Inuvik, to identify people at risk who may be eligible for treatment.

Inuvik residents can contact public health at 867-678-5579.

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