Toronto Public Health has confirmed an adult case of measles in the city. This is concerning news, as measles is a highly contagious virus that can lead to serious health complications, particularly in young children and people with weakened immune systems.
Measles is a viral illness that spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus can survive in the air and on surfaces for up to two hours, which means that people who are not vaccinated or who have not previously had the virus are at risk of contracting it if they come into contact with an infected person.
Symptoms of measles typically appear 7 to 14 days after exposure and can include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. In severe cases, complications can include pneumonia, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), and even death.
Toronto Public Health is urging anyone who may have been in contact with the infected person to check their immunization status and watch for symptoms of the virus. They are also reminding people that measles can be prevented through vaccination.
Measles vaccination is safe and effective and is usually given as part of a combination vaccine called the MMR vaccine, which also protects against mumps and rubella. The vaccine is recommended for all children and adults who have not previously been vaccinated or who have only received one dose.
It is important to note that the measles vaccine is not 100% effective, but it does provide significant protection against the virus. In addition, getting vaccinated helps to protect vulnerable members of the community who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons, such as infants and people with certain health conditions.