• Information on the Measles in Niagara Falls

    Measles in NiagaraThe small measles outbreak—five cases in Toronto, one in Niagara Falls—worries many Ontarians, particularly while the afflicted remain unlinked. Currently, the Greater Niagara General Hospital is working with Toronto public health and Ontario public health to conduct a thorough epidemiological study; but until more evidence surfaces, residents will continue to bombard hospitals will calls and inquires.

    In Niagara, the last reported case of measles happened 19 years ago. Since then, keeping the community vaccinated has fended off the infection, though declines in elementary school inoculations now raise concerns. Since the measles spreads so quickly, immunity hinges on the strength of the “herd”—if 95% of people receive the vaccination, they protect the 5% without it. Unfortunately, it seems only 85% of children are covered through the schools, and children need it most since 30% of cases develop into something more severe.

    Some measles symptoms include runny nose, sore throat, cough and fever—all easily confusable with a cold—as well as a skin rash. Only 60 cases or so emerge in the US each year, though the infection kills over 100,000 people. Approximately one to two people die per thousand, so the municipal and provincial health departments recommend all Niagara residents update their vaccinations if necessary. If unsure of your status, contact your doctor immediately. As well, read the public health reports to verify you have not contacted someone who carries the virus.

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