Confirmed measles case at Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario: Whitby Durham Health Department


Published April 4, 2024 at 11:36 am

Confirmed measles in from Pearson Airport in Mississauga, Ontario: Whitby Durham Health Department

The Whitby-based Durham Region Health Department has confirmed a case of measles which flew into Canada through Pearson Airport.

Durham announced the case around 5 p.m. on April 3. It was contracted by a local adult when they travelled abroad. Currently, the patient is isolating at home.

The Health Department is currently investigating the patient’s movement and known contacts who may have been exposed. The Region as also reached out to other effected regions like Peel to collaborate.

The patient flew into Pearson Airport on Royal Jordanian Airlines flight RJ271. That day, the flight took off from Amman, Jordan at 10:45 a.m. (local time), stopped in Montreal then proceeded to Pearson, landing at 5:30.

The health department says they are not aware of anywhere in Durham where others may have been exposed.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads easily to those who are not immunized or have not previously had measles,” the department wrote, “Infants under one year of age, unimmunized pregnant individuals, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications.”

Symptoms typically begin within seven to 21 days of infection and include;

  • High fever (greater than or equal to 38.3 C)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Feeling tired
  • Red and watery eyes (conjunctivitis, i.e., pink eye), sensitivity to light
  • Small white spots (Koplik spots) on the inside of the mouth and throat
  • Red rash

To avoid infection residents should get their publicly funded two-dose MMR vaccine. Generally people born after 1970 are considered protected, but a rise in unvaccinated individuals has led to new cases.

So far the first three months of 2024 have seen more measles cases than all of 2023. Many of these have flown in through Pearson and patients have gone on to Mississauga, Hamilton, York Region and now Durham.

Ontario has reported a total of 40 cases, three times more than last year. Cases have also been confirmed in British Columbia, Quebec and Saskatchewan.

If symptoms develop:

  • Do not attend work, school, childcare, or any other public places.
  • Contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible to discuss follow-up recommendations.
  • Call your healthcare provider before going to see them to inform them that you may have been in contact with someone who has measles.
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