There are now five confirmed cases of the measles throughout the GTA, public health officials say.

On Friday, the most recent case of measles was confirmed by The Halton Region Health Department in Oakville. As well, three confirmed cases of the virus were identified by Toronto Public Health officials and Peel Public Health identified one confirmed case in Mississauga on Thursday.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily through the air and public health officials throughout the GTA are warning residents that if they are not properly vaccinated they could be at risk.

In a news release issued on Friday, health officials in Halton said they are investigating one confirmed case of measles in an Oakville resident which has led to potential exposures throughout the city between March 21 and March 29.

“With a case of confirmed measles in our community, it’s imperative that residents protect themselves and their community against the increasing risk of infection by ensuring their measles immunization is up to date,” acting medical officer of health for Halton Region Dr. Julie Emili said in the release.

Halton health officials said they are warning people who were at several locations throughout Oakville between March 21 and March 29 that they may have been exposed to measles.

These locations include:

  • Sheridan College, including the gym and the campus’ Tim Hortons located at 1430 Trafalgar Road in Oakville between March 21 and March 23
  • A Walmart located at 234 Hays Boulevard in Oakville on March 23
  • Trafalgar Medical Clinic including the main foyer, the food court and the LifeLabs in the basement located at 1235 Trafalgar Road in Oakville on March 28
  • Tim Hortons located at 2355 Trafalgar Road in Oakville on March 26 and March 29

Measles exposure at TDSB school and WestJet flights

Among the confirmed cases being investigated by TPH, one was at a Toronto District School Board school.

On Thursday, TPH said they are working with the Toronto District School Board regarding one confirmed case at Huron Street Junior Public School.

“All parents have received notification about this exposure and vaccine clinics are being held at the school,” TPH’s news release said.

In a news release issued on Friday, TPH said that members of the public have been exposed to measles in a number of settings throughout the city between March 19 and March 30.

These places include:

  • Aboard Emirates Airline flight EK 517 from Delhi, India to Dubai, United Arab Emirates on March 19
  • Aboard Emirates Airline flight EK 241 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Toronto on March 20
  • The Caledonian Bar located at 865 College Street in Toronto

As well, one of the confirmed cases in Toronto was linked to a WestJet employee.

“Health and safety is our top priority and we are working very closely with the Toronto Public Health and following its recommended protocol for managing this situation,” WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart told CP24 in an email on Thursday.

WestJet has reached out to passengers who were aboard seven of the affected flights between March 22 and March 24.

These flights include:

  • WS 450 from Abbottsford, B.C. to Calgary on March 22
  • WS 610 from Calgary to Ottawa on March 22
  • WS 369 from Ottawa to Toronto on March 22
  • WS 590 from Toronto to Montreal on March 23
  • WS 581 from Montreal to Toronto on March 24
  • WS 2668 from Toronto to Turks and Caicos Islands on March 24
  • WS 2669 from Turks and Caicos Islands to Toronto on March 24

One case of measles in Mississauga

Peel Public Health said on Thursday that they are investigating one confirmed case of measles in a child from Mississauga.

Residents of Mississauga could have been exposed to the virus at a few locations throughout the city, however Peel Public Health confirmed that this child does not attend any daycare or school.

The locations include:

  • Cora’s Breakfast Restaurant located at 4559 Hurontario Street in Mississauga on March 25
  • Ocean’s Grocery Store located at 4557 Hurontario Street in Mississauga on March 25
  • Emergency room of Trillium Health Partners at Credit Valley Hospital located at 2200 Eglinton Avenue West in Mississauga on March 27

People born before 1970 are protected

Speaking with CP24 on Friday, infectious disease specialist Dr. Neil Rau said people born before 1970 have already been exposed to the virus so they are protected. However, he said newborns and pregnant women are the most vulnerable to measles.

“(Having measles is) not problematic for that person but if you have lots and lots of these cases and then they go and visit a child who is three months old,” he said.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily to those who are not immune to it. Anyone who has not received two doses of a measles vaccine or who has not already had the measles in the past is considered to be at risk of infection. Furthermore, infants under one year of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems can become very ill from this disease.

Symptoms of measles include high fever, cold-like symptoms such as a cough or a runny nose, sore eyes or sensitivity to light and a red rash lasting for between four and seven days.

TPH said that the risk of acquiring measles is low, but they are still recommending that people check their immunization records to ensure all family members are up to date with the measles vaccination MMR or MMRV. As well, it is recommended to make sure immunizations are up to date prior to travelling.

If anyone is experiencing symptoms of measles TPH says to contact your health care provided as soon as possible and to avoid attending work or school.