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Preparing for potential measles outbreak

April 16, 2024
Alberta Health Services logo
Alberta Health Services has important advice for pharmacy teams.

Although no cases of measles have been identified in Alberta so far in 2024, outbreaks are occurring around the world and Albertans may contract the disease through travel if they are not immune. Alberta Health Services (AHS) is advising anyone with symptoms of measles to stay at home, avoid contact with others, and call 811 before visiting any hospital, clinic, or healthcare provider.

Symptoms of measles include

  • fever 38.3°C or higher;
  • cough, runny nose, or red eyes; and
  • a red, blotchy rash appearing three to seven days after fever starts, beginning behind the ears and on the face and spreading down to the body and then to the arms and legs.

The best protection against measles is immunization with two doses of a measles-containing vaccine. Pharmacy teams are encouraged to talk to patients about the importance of making sure their vaccines are up to date if they haven’t already. Immunization is the only strategy to prevent individual cases and community outbreaks. The virus is highly contagious and can stay in the air for up to two hours, so other public health measures like masking and distancing won’t be effective at reducing the spread.

For more information, please refer to the following resources from AHS: