Confirmed case of measles in UW student (Updated)

<strong>This story has been updated as of 3:15 PM.</strong>

The Region of Waterloo Public Health (RWPH) and the University of Waterloo are reporting the confirmation of one case of red measles in a UW student.

The student is unimmunized and contracted the illness &quot;during recent travel to Europe,&quot; said a RWPH press release.

During the illness&#39;s infectious period, the student attended a psychology class in J.R. Coutts Engineering Lecture Hall, room 101, on Tuesday, February 25 at 10:30 a.m., according to the UW Health Services press release. The student &quot;left the class feeling ill and remained away from campus until fully recovered.&quot;

The student also took a Grand River Transit city bus from King Street to University Avenue the same day, between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

&quot;Cases resulting from exposure to this student would have demonstrated symptoms by March 18. Any persons exposed to this case who have not developed symptoms by March 18, are not expected to develop measles,&quot; said the RWPH press release.

&ldquo;Anyone who was exposed to this case would have developed symptoms by now. We&rsquo;re not expecting any further cases and we have not had any further cases reported to us at this point,&rdquo; said Kristy Wright, manager of infectious disease for RWPH.

&ldquo;We just received laboratory confirmation of the case,&rdquo; said Wright as to why the measles case was only reported now, a full month after the patient began having symptoms.&nbsp; She added that other factors creating the delay might include when the patient first sought treatment and when laboratory testing began.

Wright wants to reinforce the importance of immunization.

&ldquo;Particularly for students who are planning to travel. That&rsquo;s been the main force of the measles cases in Canada,&rdquo; she said. She said even people planning to travel domestically should make sure that their immunizations are up to date.&nbsp;

&quot;If you are uncertain whether you are protected please contact your family doctor or health services,&quot; the UW health services website said. &quot;Those who are travelling are recommended to ensure their immunization status is up to date since movement through international airports is a risk for exposure to red measles.&quot;

The last case of measles reported in the Waterloo region was in 2009, which began with an unimmunized child who traveled outside of Canada. That case led to a total of six infected people.

On March 13, approximately 100 cases of measles were reported in Fraser Valley, east of Vancouver. The outbreak is thought to have begun at a Christian school with a low vaccination rate but it soon spread to people outside the school. Fraser Health provided additional supplies of the vaccination to local health care providers encouraging anyone under the age of five to be vaccinated immediately as they are most at risk.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 122,000 deaths globally as a result of measles in 2012 &mdash; it is one of the leading causes of death among young children.

Before widespread vaccination of the disease in 1980, measles was the cause of an estimated 2.6 million deaths yearly.&nbsp; According to WHO, immunization activities have rapidly reduced the number of measles-related deaths globally.


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