Health officials are asking anyone who was at Vaughan Mills, a mall north of Toronto, on March 20 to ensure their immunization records are up to date after an adult who contracted the measles while travelling passed through the shopping centre.
Toronto Public Health said in a news release that the adult with the highly-contagious disease was in the mall from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. that day. The agency said it is following up with all known people who may have been exposed to the disease.
This is the second confirmed case of measles in Toronto this year. It also comes as Canada’s West Coast deals with an outbreak that has prompted Canada’s chief public health officer to plead with parents to vaccinate their children.
“I am very concerned to see vaccine-preventable diseases, particularly those as serious and highly contagious as measles, making a comeback in Canada and around the globe,” Dr. Theresa Tam, the chief public health officer of Canada, said in a news release earlier this month.
She also condemned the “entirely false information being spread in campaigns that target parents on social media and the internet.”
Symptoms of the measles include fever, red eyes, a runny nose, sensitivity to light and a red rash on the face or body. They can appear from one week to 18 days after exposure to the virus.
Complications of the disease include blindness, lung infection and ear infections. Infants, people with weakened immune symptoms and pregnant women are at a particularly high risk of developing serious complications.
Toronto Public Health is asking anyone showing symptoms of the disease to get medical attention, but to call their health care provider ahead of time to advise them of a possible measles case so that they do not spread it to other patients.