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Hamilton child under five dies from measles: Public Health Service

Hamilton child under five dies from measles: Public Health Service
Hamilton child under five dies from measles: Public Health Service


Hamilton's child under the age of 5 died from measles, according to the city's public health department.

“This is a very tragic situation in which a young child has left us far too early in his life,” Dr. Brendan Lew, Hamilton's deputy medical officer of health, said in a statement Friday. ” he said.

“To respect and protect the privacy of the child and his loved ones, we will not discuss this individual incident in further detail.”

This is the first death in Ontario since tracking began in 1989, according to Public Health Ontario (PHO).

In an update released Thursday, the PHO said the child had not been vaccinated against the highly infectious respiratory virus. The time and specific age of the child's death have not been disclosed.

“Measles-related deaths are rare and tragic events. Our thoughts are with the families at this difficult time,” a PHO spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

Cases are on the rise

Hamilton Public Health has confirmed six cases of measles so far this year, none of whom had been vaccinated, Lu said.

Early this month, public health warns After four people in the same household contracted measles, people spoke about possible measles exposure at grocery stores, apartments and at McMaster Children's Hospital.

Hamilton Health Sciences, which operates the children's hospital, said in a statement that for privacy reasons it could not confirm whether the child who died was receiving care at the hospital.

Measles cases are on the rise in Ontario and other parts of Canada as cases rise globally, particularly in Europe, where tens of thousands of people were infected last year.

According to the PHO, there have been 22 cases in the state so far this year, a level already comparable to the recent high level recorded in 2014, when the number was the same for the entire calendar year.

All infected people were born after 1970, including 13 children. In 12 of the cases, the children had not been vaccinated, and in one case the vaccination status was unknown.

All five infections involved unvaccinated children under the age of five and required hospitalization, the report said.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for the Ontario Ministry of Health offered condolences to the family of the deceased child.

“Our hearts go out to the families who have tragically lost their children. Our thoughts are with them as they navigate this difficult time,” the spokesperson said. “We remind all Ontarians to stay up-to-date on vaccinations to ensure they and their loved ones are protected from infectious diseases.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking in Winnipeg on Friday, called the child's death “a tragedy that no one wants to see.”

“I can't imagine what that family is going through right now, but I know as parents we all want the absolute best for our children,” he said. .

“We encourage you to listen to doctors and medical professionals about how to keep your children safe.”

According to the agency, travel is almost always a factor.

According to the PHO, most of the total measles cases this year (15 out of 22) were travel-related.

“Due to Canada's successful measles elimination and high immunization rates, measles outbreaks are rare in Ontario. As a result, measles outbreaks are primarily travel-related,” the report states. .

“As measles activity increases globally, we are starting to see an increase in measles cases in Ontario.”

Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease consultant at Toronto General Hospital, said Canadians planning to travel need to make sure they protect themselves from the virus, given the rise in infections overseas. ing.

“The vaccine is highly effective. It's safe, it's widely available, it's free. Is it perfect? ​​Of course not. Nothing is perfect, but it's really, really, really good,” he told CBC Radio. told. metro morning on friday.

View | Commenting on the risk of measles as infections increase worldwide, Dr. Bogoch said:

Infectious disease expert on measles risk after child death in Ontario

A child under the age of five has died from measles in Ontario, according to Public Health Ontario. This is the first such death in more than 10 years. CBC's Shannon Martin spoke with Dr. Isaac Bogoch about measles vaccines and their effectiveness.

Bogoch said some young children may have missed out on vaccinations because the routine childhood immunization schedule was disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For Canadian children, the common schedule is now two doses, both given before they start school. The first measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR) should be given when children are 12 to 15 months old, and the second at 18 months or later, or any time thereafter, but no later than before they start school. should be accepted. Note Canada's Immunization Guide.

Bogoch said infants who are planning to travel abroad with their parents, particularly to destinations with high measles transmission rates, may be able to postpone their first vaccination until six months later.




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