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Measles Confirmed Cases Surpass 2023 Total, Health Authorities Sound Alarm

Visual Representation for Rashes caused by Measles | Credits: Getty Images

Measles has become a threat to people living across the globe. Recently, concerns have been raised by the health authorities of Ontario after the number of confirmed measles cases reported during the beginning of 2024 has crossed the number of cases reported during the previous year.

The number of cases surpassed the count of 2023 after the latest case of measles was reported in a child who recently traveled through Toronto Pearson International Airport. As per the stats shared by the Hamilton Public Health Services, the child got infected with the disease while he recently traveled to India. The officials further emphasized that the child is at home and recovering at a steady pace, according to the reports by CP 27.

While sharing details regarding the possible exposure to measles, the agency underlined that the people who traveled on March 5 via Saudi Arabian Airlines flight (number SV 61) from Jeddah are potentially at risk of getting infected.

The authorities also shared details regarding the times of the flight. Accordingly, the plane left Jeddah at 9:40 am local time and landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport around 3:25 pm EST. As per the official records, the individuals who were in Terminal 3 of the airport between 3:25 pm and 8:30 pm were also at the verge of exposure.

According to a news release shared by the health authorities, “Hamilton Public Health Services is not aware of any additional exposure locations in Hamilton at this time.”

Cases in Ontario!

Public Health Ontario’s data revealed that Ontario has recorded eight (8) instances of measles confirmed by laboratory tests in the year 2024. Among these occurrences, six cases are attributable to travel, while the origins of the remaining two cases remain unidentified.

The preceding year, 2023, saw a total of seven confirmed measles cases within Ontario.

Instances, where the source of infection remains unknown, involve individuals devoid of travel history or any discernible epidemiological connection to a confirmed case, as per reports by CP 27.

As of the early days of March, Canada has tallied a total of 17 measles cases. Of these, five cases were detected within Ontario, with Hamilton’s instance adding to the provincial count as the sixth.

A peculiar scenario unfolded in the York Region, wherein an immunized adult tested positive for measles. Health specialists speculate that this individual contracted the disease from within their community, implying localized “sporadic” transmission of the ailment.

The Chief Medical Officer of Health for Ontario had previously issued warnings to public health units, advising them to brace for additional cases and the potential emergence of outbreaks, coinciding with an uptick in infections across Europe, the reports by CP 27 claimed.

Despite these concerns, experts observe a lack of widespread community transmission, largely attributable to the coverage provided by measles vaccinations.

Public health authorities advocate for individuals to review their immunization records, ensuring that they and their family members remain current with their measles vaccination regimen, which necessitates two doses.

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