Public health advisory issued for measles

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The acting chief public health officer has issued a public health advisory on a confirmed case of measles in the territory.

The public health office is currently doing tracing of priority contacts in Inuvik who may have travelled between Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Inuvik on Feb. 13, after a case of measles was confirmed. NNSL file photo

“This case involves an individual who travelled from an international destination to Inuvik by airplane,” states the advisory issued just shortly after 8 p.m. on Feb. 22. “The journey returning to Inuvik took them through Yellowknife and Norman Wells on February 13.”

The public health office is currently tracing priority contacts in Inuvik and states, “Within six days of exposure to an active measles case preventive treatment can reduce the risk of developing measles. Public health staff are identifying those at risk that may be eligible for this treatment.”

The advisory states that NWT residents who traveled by air on Feb. 13 between Yellowknife, Norman Wells and Inuvik should watch for and monitor for the following symptoms: Fever, runny nose, dry cough, inflamed eyes, tiny white spots with bluish-white centres on a red background that appear inside the mouth on the cheek and/or a skin rash showing large, flat blotches that often flow into one another.

It is advised, if you show these symptoms, to stay at home and immediately contact a local health care provider.

“People born before 1970 or who have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine are protected from the disease while others remain at risk,” states the advisory.

If you are unsure of your immunization record you can call your health care provider to obtain that information.

If you live in Inuvik and would like to speak to a health practitioner, you can call (867) 777-5579.

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