Measles cases in Canada are increasing, Canada’s chief public health officer warns

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam speaks during a press conference in Ottawa on Monday, June 19, 2023. Tam issued a statement Wednesday saying the Public Health Agency of Canada is aware of 40 measles cases in Canada so far this year.

Canada’s chief public health officer says the number of measles cases in the country continues to rise.

Dr. Theresa Tam says in a statement the Public Health Agency of Canada is aware of 40 measles cases in Canada so far this year.

That’s more than three times the number of cases reported in all of 2023.

Tam says she is concerned that not enough children have received the recommended two doses of measles vaccine.

She says measles is highly contagious and is urging parents and caregivers to ensure kids in their care have been vaccinated.

Tam says the majority of people who have been infected with measles were unvaccinated and most of them were children.

She says although some people have been infected while travelling internationally, others have caught measles in Canada.

Measles infections have been reported in Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

“Measles is more than a rash. Infection can lead to rare, but severe complications, including deafness and brain injury caused by inflammation of the brain, and can even be fatal,” Tam said in the statement issued Wednesday.

“No one should have to experience serious illness from a vaccine-preventable disease like measles,” she said.


By Nicole Ireland

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 27, 2024.

Canadian Press health coverage receives support through a partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. CP is solely responsible for this content.

The Canadian Press

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