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Peel Public Health investigating case of measles in child who recently travelled abroad

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A child who recently travelled abroad has been confirmed to have measles, Peel Public Health (PPH) says.

PPH said, in a news release issued on Tuesday, it is investigating the case and has been reaching out to known contacts who may have been exposed to the highly contagious disease.

The local health agency also released the following six locations in Mississauga where the public may have been exposed.

PPH says measles spreads easily to those who are not immunized and have not previously had measles.

Symptoms begin to appear seven to 21 days after infection. They may include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, watery eyes, sensitivity to light, and a red rash lasting four to seven days.

PPH advises anyone who believes they may have been exposed to check their immunization record, watch for symptoms and contact their health care provider.

“A reminder for anyone who is planning international travel to a destination with high levels of measles to ensure they are immunized against measles,” PPH said, noting that all Ontarians are eligible for two publicly funded doses of the measles vaccine.

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), as of Jan. 27, there have been two cases of measles in the country in 2024, one of which was in Ontario. PHAC said the case involved a vaccinated adult who acquired the infection while travelling outside the country.

In 2023, there were 12 confirmed cases of measles in Canada. PHAC issued a Level 1 global health notice for measles, reminding travellers to practice health precautions for their destination.

In the notice, PHAC said measles outbreaks are occurring in every region of the world.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many countries may have delayed measles vaccination campaigns. This increases the risk of bigger outbreaks occurring around the world,” the notice read.

“Most measles outbreaks in Canada are the result of returning travellers who were infected abroad.”

In 2022, rates of measles infection rose by 18 per cent globally over the year prior, with deaths attributed to the disease rising 43 per cent in that time and 37 different countries reporting large or disruptive outbreaks, according to recently released data from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With files from CTV News’ Charlie Buckley

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