NEWS

Quebec measles cases linked to Disneyland outbreak

02/11/2015 11:16 EST | Updated 04/13/2015 05:59 EDT
Quebec health officials have confirmed a measles outbreak in the province, which they believe is linked to a recent outbreak at the Disneyland theme park in California.

Ten cases have been identified in the Lanaudière region, northeast of Montreal. A statement from the local health authority said none of the 10 had been vaccinated.

All of them are known to be contacts of one another and all reside in the region, the statement said. 

The statement did not specifically mention Disneyland, but said some of the ill had contracted the virus during a visit to a park in California where other measles cases had been reported.

The statement does not indicate if the infected individuals are children, adults or a mix of the two.

Measles is a highly contagious infection that causes high fever, a distinctive rash and a runny nose; complications can include pneumonia, deafness and death in about one or two cases per 1,000 infected individuals.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control said the Disneyland outbreak has involved 114 cases in seven U.S. states.

Quebec recorded outbreak in 2011

The vaccination issue has returned to the forefront in recent weeks, with a spike in measles cases in Toronto and the U.S.

The rise is being blamed in part on parents not vaccinating their children.

In 2011, Quebec was hit with the biggest outbreak of measles in North America, recording nearly 700 cases. At that time, doctors said many of those cases were people who had not received the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

A major vaccination program was launched, but doctors said there are still parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.

Health officials believe two to three per cent of children in Quebec are not vaccinated.

Children are supposed to be vaccinated at 12 months and receive a booster at 18 months, according to the Quebec government. 

Vaccination rates in Quebec

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