NEWS

Number of measles cases in Quebec jumps to 136 in region northeast of Montreal

03/13/2015 01:12 EDT | Updated 05/13/2015 05:59 EDT
JOLIETTE, Que. - The number of confirmed measles cases in Quebec is up to 136 from 119 earlier in the week and health officials are bracing for even more.

They said in an update Friday all of them are people from northeast of Montreal who have not been vaccinated against the disease.

The cases are centred on one religious group from the region, La Mission de L'Esprit-Saint.

Authorities have said the outbreak is part of one chain of transmission that started when a person with the order became infected at Disneyland in California and returned to the province.

A vaccination program began Thursday at a school in Joliette that had been visited by a child who had measles.

Health officials said Friday that 10 pupils are still forbidden from attending the school — three because their parents didn't want them to be vaccinated and seven because they were absent or didn't have the proper documentation.

This year, there have also been 18 cases of measles confirmed in Ontario, all in the Toronto and Niagara regions, and one in Manitoba.

Measles is highly contagious and causes fever, a distinctive red rash and a runny nose. While most people who become infected will only experience an unpleasant illness, the disease can have more serious complications in some cases, particularly in young children.

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