Public Health advising of potential measles exposure at QEII Halifax Infirmary's emergency department on April 17

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, April 27, 2019
 
HALIFAX, N.S. – NSHA Public Health is advising the public of a potential exposure to measles at the Halifax Infirmary’s emergency department.
 
An individual travelled through Halifax and visited the emergency department at the QEII Health Sciences Centre on April 17 for symptoms unrelated to measles. However, the individual later developed measles and they were communicable at the time of their emergency department visit in Halifax. Public Health officials in New Brunswick are currently investigating the case in the Saint John area.
 
Patients and visitors at the Halifax Infirmary’s emergency department (Robie Street) between 12 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on on Wednesday, April 17 may have been exposed to measles.
 
Those exposed may develop symptoms between now and May 8, 2019.
 
Symptoms of measles include:
• fever, cough, runny nose;
• red eyes;
• a red blotchy rash on the face, which spreads down the body;
• sleepiness;
• irritability (feeling cranky or in a bad mood);
• small white spots inside the mouth and throat;
 
If you have symptoms of measles, you should:
• Call your health care provider or 811 for advice;
• Please call ahead if you need to see a healthcare provider for assessment, such as your family doctor or a walk-in clinic. Healthcare providers need to take special precautions to protect other patients from being exposed. 
 
Measles is a viral illness. It is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets, or airborne spread, when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Most people fully recover within two to three weeks. However, measles can have serious complications, which are more likely in infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems.
 
NSHA Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness, and Infection Prevention and Control teams will provide follow-up to staff and inpatients as needed.
 
Nova Scotia residents born after 1970 are eligible to receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine at no cost through the publicly funded immunization program. Individuals who have not had two doses of measles-containing vaccine should arrange immunization through their primary care provider as per the NS Immunization Schedule.

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Provincial Media Line: 1-844-483-3344

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Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. NSHA operates hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit www.nshealth.ca for more.