TORONTO — Two confirmed cases of measles in adults in Toronto are both travel related, the city's public health unit said Monday as it warned the public of possible places where they may have been exposed to the virus.
The latest incidents bring the total measles cases in the city this year to three, according to Toronto Public Health data. There were five confirmed cases last year — four related to travel.
"There has been an increase in global measles cases and this affects what we are seeing locally," said Dr. Eileen de Villa, the city's medical officer of health. "We are therefore reminding people to check their measles vaccination history, especially before any international travel."
The agency said that members of the public may have been exposed to the measles virus in several locations on May 5 and May 8.
Those locations include Toronto's Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1, between 6 p.m. ET and 10:30 p.m. on May 5 and between 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on May 8.
Passengers on two Air Canada flights might also have been exposed to the virus — AC848 that left Toronto at 8:40 p.m. on May 5 and arrived in London Heathrow airport at 8:35 a.m., on May 6, as well as AC849 from London Heathrow arriving in Toronto at 5 p.m. on May 8.
Other locations include Remely's Restaurant, in north Toronto, between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. on May 5, and the Toronto Zoo between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. on May 8.
Toronto Mayor John Tory said the new cases were troubling.
"It's alarming to hear not just that there are outbreaks of measles happening, in one example, but an increase in the number of people who are vaccination hesitant," he told reporters Monday.
Health Canada said there were 45 cases of measles across the country as of April 27 in Quebec, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, Alberta, and New Brunswick.
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B.C., in particular, is dealing with an outbreak of more than two dozen cases of the highly infectious disease.
The province embarked on a vaccination blitz for school-aged children that began on April 1 and included school clinics, letters to families with children and dispensing more than 3,800 vaccines. The province plans 600 more in-school vaccination clinics for May and June.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said the measles outbreak continues to worsen in 2019, with cases across the world up 300 per cent in the first three months compared to the year before. There are sizable outbreaks in several countries in eastern Europe, Africa, central Asia, the WHO said.
There have been more than 112,000 cases of measles reported to the organization from 170 countries in the first three months of 2019.
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