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Portrait of measles

Portrait of measles

Source: www.quebec.ca

Measles is a worldwide disease, particularly in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In recent years, significant outbreaks have been reported in several European countries, as well as in some US states. In 2023 and 2024, measles cases were reported in Quebec, as well as in several other Canadian provinces.

Vaccination remains the most effective way of protecting against measles. People with access to their vaccination records can check their vaccination status. For those who do not have access to their vaccination record or proof of vaccination, we recommend that you contact a healthcare professional for validation.

People who may be at risk

Some people are at increased risk of complications if they contract measles. In the event of exposure to the virus, it is recommended that these individuals promptly contact Info-Santé 811 for evaluation and, if necessary, receive preventive treatment in the form of an antibody injection. This injection must be administered within seven days of exposure.

People considered to be at risk of complications are as follows:

  • Infants under one year of age;
  • Individuals with weakened immune systems;
  • Pregnant women not adequately vaccinated against measles.
  • People who are not included in the category at risk of complications should watch out for symptoms if exposed to the measles virus, especially if they are not vaccinated.

The main symptoms of measles include high fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and general malaise, followed by rashes on the face and body.

Protected persons

The following people are considered protected against measles:

  • People born before 1970
  • Individuals with serological evidence of measles antibodies
  • Those with a medical certificate confirming that they had measles before January 1, 1996
  • Persons with written proof of measles vaccination.

The number of doses required to be considered protected varies :

  • 2 doses for people born since 1980 and those born between 1970 and 1979 who are trainees, healthcare workers, travellers to a country where measles is circulating, or military recruits;
  • 1 dose for people born between 1970 and 1979 who are not trainees, healthcare workers, travelers to a country where measles is circulating, or military recruits, as well as pregnant women born between 1970 and 1979 who have received only one dose of vaccine and should receive immunoglobulin after significant exposure.

Criteria for protection against measles may vary in other provinces or countries. To validate your vaccination status, a medical consultation with a healthcare professional can confirm your protection.

Measures to be taken for exposed persons

If you are protected against measles, the risk of contracting the disease is very low. However, as a precautionary measure, it is recommended to monitor the appearance of symptoms until the date indicated in the table of exposure sites listed on the Quebec government website: www.quebec.ca.

If you are not protected against measles, it is recommended to :

  • Isolate yourself at home from the 5th day after the first exposure until the 14th day after the last exposure;
  • Receive vaccination or injection of antibodies against the disease, if recommended;
  • Watch for the appearance of symptoms until the specified date mentioned on the Quebec government website: quebec.ca

Injection of antibodies offers immediate protection if administered within seven days of contact with a contagious person. It can be recommended for:

  • pregnant women not adequately vaccinated,
  • infants under one year of age
  • immunodeficient individuals.

The vaccine is intended for people aged 6 months and over who are not considered protected and who have been in contact with a contagious person. It is most effective when administered within 72 hours of contact.

Source: www.quebec.ca

Groupe Santé Voyage offers you the possibility of consulting a health professional who can check your vaccination status and, if necessary, recommend and administer an appropriate vaccination.

In collaboration with the Priveo Santé clinic, Groupe Santé Voyage also offers blood tests such as:

  • The IGG measles immunity assay . This test validates and confirms your immunity to measles.
  • The IGM assay confirms whether you have been in contact with a recent case of measles. This test should be carried out after the 3rd day of rash onset.
  • Measles PCR screening. This analysis confirms whether you have contracted measles at the time of sampling.
  • This analysis cannot be performed in the clinic. If you would like to be screened, please contact our team for more information.

These analyses are carried out in a private laboratory, and results are available within 6 working days.

To make an appointment with a member of our team, please contact us at 1-855-582-2246.

To find out more about measles, we invite you to consult the information available on the Quebec government website.

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