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Number of Ontario measles cases nears 10-year high as Peel Region confirms new case

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Health officials in Peel Region have confirmed a Mississauga resident has contracted measles, as the total number of cases in the province approaches a 10-year high.

In a news release on Tuesday, Peel Public Health confirmed its second case of measles this year. Officials did not disclose how the man got infected but provided locations where the public may have been exposed.

Those who were at Silver Creek Convenience and Health Care Medical Clinic on May 10 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., as well as Trillium Health Partners Mississauga Site Emergency Room at 9:15 a.m. on May 10 and 6:15 p.m. on May 11, are being advised to contact Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700 immediately.

Officials warn that measles spreads easily to those who are not immunized or have not previously had measles. Infants, unimmunized pregnant individuals and people with weakened immune systems are especially at risk.

Symptoms, which begin seven to 21 days after infection, include high fever, cough, runny nose, red and watery eyes with sensitivity to light and a red rash that lasts four to seven days.

Ontario measles cases near 10-year high

As of May 8, there have been 21 confirmed measles cases in Ontario. The last time the province had more than 20 cases was in 2014, with 22.

Table shows measles cases in Ontario between 2013 and 2024. (Public Health Ontario)

According to Public Health Ontario (PHO), more than half of this year's cases were found in children. All but one of the 13 children who got the virus were unimmunized, and the vaccination status of the one child was unknown.

PHO said five children were hospitalized, including one who had to be admitted to intensive care. No deaths have been reported.

As for the adult cases, three were previously immunized, two were unimmunized, and three had unknown status.

Of the 21 cases, 15 were associated with travel, five were linked to a confirmed case, and one with an unknown source of infection.

"In Ontario, measles has been rare, owing to the successful elimination of measles in Canada due to high immunization coverage. As a result, measles cases are usually associated with travel," PHO said. "Due to an increase in measles activity globally, Ontario has begun to see more cases of measles."

Between Jan. 1 and May 4, 913 people were tested for acute measles, and 2.2 per cent were positive.

In Canada, there have been 69 confirmed measles cases as of Apr. 27.

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