Montreal hospital warns patients after employee tests positive for measles
Published Monday, April 8, 2019 2:59PM EDT
A Montreal hospital is warning its patients about possible measles exposure, after an employee worked there while contagious with the disease.
McGill University Health Centre says the possible exposure could have occurred at its Glen adult site between March 23 and March 27.
MUHC infectious diseases specialist Dr. Marie-Astrid Lefebvre said in a news release that the employee in question “had limited contact with patients and staff” but the hospital isn’t taking any chances.
“For the moment, there is no evidence that the disease has been transmitted to other people, but we will continue to monitor the situation closely until the end of the incubation period,” Lefebvre added.
The “vast majority” of those possibly exposed are likely immune, including those born before 1970 and those who received two doses of the MMR vaccine, she said.
Patients who were not born before 1970 and who do not have records of both doses of the vaccine are asked to call the hospital. Visitors who fit the same description should call Info-Sante at 8-1-1.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, red and watery eyes, tiny white spots in the mouth, and a rash that appears first on the face and then spreads, according to MUHC.
Measles can cause serious complications, particularly in patients with weakened immune systems, pregnant women and children under age one.
The MMR vaccine is considered 97 per cent effective at preventing the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Measles was considered eradicated in Canada but has re-emerged. The Public Health Agency of Canada says there were 28 cases confirmed in Canada this year, as of March 23. Those cases occurred in Quebec, British Columbia, Northwest Territories and Alberta. Possible cases have also been reported in Ontario.