N.B chief medical officer of health says measles outbreak 'officially over'
New Brunswick health officials have declared the measles outbreak in the Saint John area as officially over in a news conference on Monday.
“Though the outbreak is over, I encourage New Brunswickers to ensure their immunizations are up to date,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province’s chief medical officer of health.
“Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease and is vaccine-preventable,” she added.
There were 12 confirmed cases of measles between late April and late May, 2019. All but one were linked in some way to Kennebecasis Valley High School located in Quispamsis, a suburb of Saint John.
The initial case involved a person who had traveled to Europe and returned to Saint John.
During the outbreak, the province says Public Health officials have contacted 7,500 people through contact tracing and immunized 2,370 people at 12 special immunization clinics.
It also says almost 16,000 dosages of the vaccine have been distributed since April, with the average yearly number being 5,000.
WATCH: Worried you might have measles? Here’s what to do.
The government says 850 people throughout 11 various government agencies worked on the outbreak.
Doctor Russell is advising the public to be vigilant because a similar outbreak could happen again.
“If you are travelling, even to the United States or Europe, you should be fully immunized,” she said.
Health Canada guidelines recommend at least 32 days pass following the rash onset date of the last case associated with the outbreak before it could be declared officially over.
Two doses of the vaccine will protect most people from measles which, in New Brunswick, protects against measles, mumps, rubella and varicella.
The vaccine is free for babies aged 12 and 18 months and for children born in 2009 and later who have not previously received two doses. It is also free for adults born in 1970 or later.