Ontarians Reminded To Be Vaccinated Against Measles and Mumps
Ontario's' Chief Medical Officer of Health is advising Ontarians that mumps and measles are circulating in Ontario.
The province was recently informed by Quebec health officials of two residents diagnosed with measles who were infectious during their visit to Ontario. One case spent a day at Canada's Wonderland while the second case spent time at a resort in Simcoe. Both cases live in areas of Quebec currently experiencing hundreds of measles cases. In addition, Toronto Public Health is investigating a number of mumps cases since the beginning of July 2011 related to an outbreak that started at a local Toronto restaurant.
In order to be fully protected, Ontarians should receive two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine. The MMR vaccine is part of Ontario's publicly funded vaccine program and it is free of charge to all Ontarians.
Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes. It can also cause middle ear infection, pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, hearing loss, brain damage, and in severe cases, death.
Mumps symptoms include fever, headache, painful swelling of the glands in the mouth and neck, and earache. It can also cause temporary or permanent hearing loss as well as swelling of the ovaries in women and testes in men, possibly leading to sterility.
Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended for the best protection. Those who have not received any or only one dose of MMR vaccine should contact their health care provider.
Ontarians should take special care when traveling by consulting with their health care provider or a travel clinic. Anticipating potential problems and proper vaccinations are the key to keeping themselves safe and healthy.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has recently advised the province's public health units to be on the alert for mumps and measles cases as well as making sure Ontarians receive the MMR vaccine free of charge.
- Ontario offers 14 different vaccines through its publicly-funded immunization program, protecting against 17 preventable diseases.
- Immunization programs have made a tremendous impact on the health of children. Just 100 years ago, infectious diseases were the leading causes of death worldwide - they now cause less than five per cent of all deaths in Canada. Fewer cases of preventable illness also mean less pressure on Ontario's health care system.
“I strongly encourage all Ontarians to ensure their immunizations are up to date and to get their booster vaccination if they need it. We know immunization protects against these serious illnesses.”
Dr. Arlene King