11 March 2024

As reported in the media, there are confirmed cases of Measles in Canada including Ontario. To provide you with some additional information we have outlined the below guidance from the Region of Waterloo Public Health Unit. The health and safety of our clients, staff, students, and visitors are our top priority, and we are guided by the recommendations from the Region of Waterloo Public Health Unit.

What You Need to Know About Measles

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory virus that spreads easily through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. It is a reportable communicable disease, meaning any confirmed cases associated with our community must be promptly reported to public health authorities.

How Measles Spreads:
  • Through direct person-to-person contact.
  • By sharing the same room or airspace with someone infected with measles.
  • Contagious from four days before to four days after the rash appears.
  • Virus can linger in the environment for up to two hours after the infected person has left.
Symptoms to Watch For:

Initially, measles starts with symptoms similar to a cold: runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, and sensitive, red, watery eyes. After a few days, small white spots may appear in the mouth and throat, followed by a red blotchy rash on the face which then spreads to the rest of the body.

Protecting Yourself and Others:
  • Vaccination is key. Fully vaccinated individuals have a lower risk of contracting measles if exposed.
  • If exposed, contact your healthcare provider or local public health unit.
  • If you feel unwell, stay home to prevent spreading the virus.
  • Seek medical attention if exposure is suspected or symptoms develop.

Taking Action:

If you suspect you have been exposed to measles or recognize any symptoms, please:

  1. Stay home if you are ill.
  2. Seek medical attention early and inform the clinic before your visit.
  3. Those who notice possible symptoms are asked to stay home and call ahead before visiting a clinic.

For additional information regarding measles, please visit: www.regionofwaterloo.ca/measles