Cases of measles were reported in the greater Montreal area since the end 2019, has been listed by the Quebec health department’s website

. People who are considered contagious visited several public places. People who visited these places at the times indicated in the table of locations, dates and times where exposure to the measles virus may have occurred are considered at risk of exposure.

To limit the spread of the disease, steps are being taken to identify people who may have been exposed.

People at risk of complications

Some people have a higher risk of complications if they catch measles. They should be assessed promptly so that they can be given preventive treatment if they were exposed to the measles virus. They are:

  • babies under one year old;
  • people with weakened immune systems;
  • pregnant women who are not adequately vaccinated against measles.

Preventive treatment, which consists of an injection of antibodies, must be provided within 7 days of exposure.

Photo: istock

People who may have been exposed

If you are not at risk of complications, you can still consult the table of locations, dates and times where exposure to the measles virus may have occurred. If you visited any of these places at the dates and times indicated, watch out for symptoms until the dates indicated in the table, especially if you have not been vaccinated.

The main symptoms of measles are a high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and general discomfort, followed by a rash on the face and then on the body.

Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself against measles. Some people are considered protected against measles. If you are not  considered protected, you should get vaccinated. If you are not sure that you have had the vaccines you need to protect yourself against measles, you can contact Info-Santé at 811.

People who are considered protected

The following people are considered protected against measles:

  • People born before 1970.
  • People who have serology showing antibodies to measles.
  • People who have a medical certificate confirming that they had measles before January 1, 1996.
  • People who have written evidence of vaccination against measles. The number of doses required to consider people protected varies:
    • 2 doses:
      • people born after 1980;
      • people born between 1970 and 1979 who are interns or health care workers, travellers or military recruits.
    • 1 dose: people born between 1970 and 1979 who are not interns or health workers, travellers or military recruits.

Pregnant women born between 1970 and 1979 who received only 1 dose of vaccine against measles should receive Immunoglobulins following significant exposure to measles.

Different criteria may be used in other provinces or countries to determine whether or not a person is protected.

If you are not sure that you have had the vaccines you need to protect yourself against measles, contact Info-Santé 811.

If you are at risk of complications, consult the table of locations, dates and times where exposure to the measles virus may have occurred. If you visited any of these places at the dates and times indicated, contact Info-Santé 811 as soon as possible. Furthermore, people with weakened immune systems must watch out for symptoms for an additional seven days on the dates indicated in the table, because the symptoms may take longer to develop.