Alberta declares measles outbreak

Alberta Health Services recently declared a measles outbreak in Calgary, Central and Edmonton zones following consecutive weeks in which new measles cases were reported.

As a result of the outbreak, infants six months of age to less than 12 months of age living in or traveling to the three zones or traveling to any out-of-province designations in which measles are ongoing is immediately eligible for an early additional dose of measles vaccines.

Infants receiving the additional early dose are still required to receive the two routinely recommended doses of measles vaccine that are administered at 12 months of age and between four and six years of age.

Additionally, children four years of age or older attending daycares and schools within the affected zone who have not received their second dose of the measles vaccine are advised to receive it as soon as possible.

The measles vaccine is always offered free of charge across Alberta as part of its publicly-funded immunization program.

Measles is highly contagious and spread through the air by cough or sneeze. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes and rash. Infected people are contagious for approximately eight days.