Case of measles was non-immunized child: NWT medical director

Dr. André Corriveau, the territory's chief public health officer. Submitted photo
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Territorial medical director Dr. André Corriveau confirms the person with measles who flew into Inuvik earlier this month was a child who was not immunized.

A public health advisory was issued Friday after laboratory tests confirmed the child who flew from Edmonton to Inuvik February 13th, with stops in Yellowknife and Norman Wells, had measles. The child then visited the Inuvik Regional Hospital at least four times between February 16th and 19th.

On Sunday, the health department published a detailed list of dates, times and locations where people may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus.

Spokesperson with the health department Damien Healy says more information cannot be provided about the child due to privacy concerns.

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Those either born before 1970, have had two doses of the vaccine containing measles or have had measles are not considered at risk.

The health department is advising anyone who may be at risk to monitor for the following symptoms, which show up a week to 21 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Rash starting on the face and spreading to the chest

If people experience these symptoms, they are advised to stay at home and phone their doctor or health care provider immediately. “Advance calling ensures health facilities can take precautions to prevent transmission of measles to others,” the advisory states.

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 vaccine.”

Residents in the Inuvik area can call 867-678-5579 to confirm whether their measles immunizations are up-to-date.

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