2 new cases of measles confirmed in Saint John, bringing total to five

The number of confirmed cases of measles in Saint John has grown, medical authorities in the province confirmed on Sunday.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, told a news conference that her office is investigating after two new cases were confirmed on Saturday.

Both cases are linked to a previously confirmed case at Kennebecasis Valley High School.

The two new cases have brought the total number of cases in the Saint John area to five this season.

“Public health officials are setting up a special immunization clinic to immunize those in the school population who have not yet received a dose of MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine within the last 28 days,” said Russell.

“Vaccination is our best possible protection against measles.”

At least four of the cases have been connected to the Kennebecasis Valley High School. The first case in Saint John was confirmed last month in an individual who had recently travelled internationally.

The New Brunswick Community College reported a suspected case of the measles last week, but tests came back negative.

Symptoms of the measles may include fever, cough, or tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs.

Measles can be prevented with a vaccine and is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person.

Russell said on Sunday that if someone is experiencing those symptoms that it is important to contact their health-care provider.

In New Brunswick, the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella is free of charge for children at the age of 12 and 18 months.

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