The Government of Saskatchewan is opening regional flood recovery centres to provide onsite access to information, programs and services for those affected by recent flooding events in the province.  Anyone who is experiencing any flood issues is welcome to come to the Centres including residents, small businesses, agricultural operations, communal organizations, nonprofit organizations, parks and communities in general.

Centres will open in Carnduff, Moosomin, Grenfell, Esterhazy, Balcarres, and Yorkton.

Learn more about the flood recovery centres.

Measles (Red Measles, Rubeola)

Health officials are advising parents to make sure their children are up-to-date on their measles vaccination, given current outbreaks in Canada and around the world. All travelers also need to make sure they are up-to-date on their measles vaccination. Please contact your local public health office for more information. Saskatchewan Increasing Measles Response - news release, May 1, 2014.


May 5, 2014 – Prairie North Health Region has reported five cases of measles since April 25.  The region has issued a public health notice that includes potential locations for public exposure and provides advice to residents. Read more.

Click here for information if you were exposed to measles in a public facility.

Click here for information on how to check your vaccination record.

Note: If you suspect that you or your child have measles, call ahead before visiting your doctor or an emergency department to avoid risk of transmission.

Measles cases in Saskatchewan, 2014

There have been 16 measles cases reported in Saskatchewan since January 2014.

As of March 18, 2014, the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region declared its recent measles outbreak over. The health region will continue surveillance.

Number of Measles Cases Provincially
 Cases as of:
New Total
 May 5, 2014
4 16
 April 25, 2014
1 12
 March 28, 2014
0
11
 March 14, 2014
0 11
 March 7, 2014
0 11
 February 28, 2014
0 11
 February 21, 2014
0 11
 February 14, 2014 1 11
 February 6, 2014
4 10
 January 31, 2014
1 6
 January 23, 2014
  5

Note: If you suspect that you or your child have measles, call ahead before visiting your doctor or an emergency department to avoid risk of transmission.

What is Measles?
  • Measles is an infection caused by a virus
  • Measles tends to be more severe in adults and very young children. It can affect all ages.

How is measles spread?
  • Measles is highly contagious.
  • It is spread easily between people through the air.
  • It passes from an infected person to others through coughing, sneezing and even talking.
  • The virus remains in the air for up to 2 hours after a person with measles has left the room.
  • People can spread the virus to others from 1 or 2 days before they have any symptoms until 4 days after the rash appears.

What signs and symptoms can you have?
  • Children with measles usually have a high fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes. After a few days a rash appears.
  • The rash starts on the face as a few red spots. The rash worsens quickly and spreads to cover the body. The rash may last up to 7 days.
  • Rarely, people who have been immunized against measles can still get it but should have milder symptoms.
  • In Saskatchewan, most cases initially diagnosed as measles turn out to be something else when blood tests are done.
  • Following measles immunization, a rash can occur in 7 - 12 days. This rash is not contagious.

What are the complications of measles?
  • Measles can be very serious. It can cause ear infections, pneumonia, brain infections or death.
  • Due to immunization, cases of measles are now rare but cases and outbreaks still occur.
  • It is more serious in very young children and adults.
  • It is important for anyone who thinks they may have measles to have tests done to confirm the diagnosis. Individuals should call ahead to let their health care provider know they are coming and that they suspect measles.
It is important for anyone who thinks they may have measles to have tests done to confirm the diagnosis. Individuals should call ahead to let their health care provider know they are coming and that they suspect measles.

How is measles diagnosed?
  • Measles is diagnosed though a blood test and can be confirmed through a urine specimen or a throat swab.

How do you treat measles?
  • There is no specific treatment.
  • Supportive measures to relieve symptoms - fever can be treated with acetaminophen (e.g. TempraTM, TylenolTM).
  • IMPORTANT: ASA (Aspirin®, acetylsalicylic acid) should NOT be given to anyone under 20 years of age due to the risk of Reye's syndrome (a severe illness related to the use of ASA during viral illness).
IMPORTANT: ASA (Aspirin®, acetylsalicylic acid) should NOT be given to anyone under 20 years of age due to the risk of Reye's syndrome (a severe illness related to the use of ASA during viral illness).

How can you prevent the spread of measles?
  • The single most important way to prevent measles is to be immunized with the measles vaccine.
  • Immunization for measles is offered routinely in 2 doses. They are usually given at 12 months and 18 months of age.
  • If you think you have been exposed to measles see a doctor. Call ahead so they can prepare to see you without exposing others.
  • If measles occurs in a school or daycare, children who are not immunized must be kept at home until they are immunized or for 21 days after the last case of measles.
  • Infants and other unimmunized people that have been exposed to measles may be able to receive some protection through immunization. Doctors should discuss this with the Medical Health Officer.
  • Someone with measles must not go to school, daycare or out in public until at least 4 days after the rash begins.

I have questions about the measles vaccine. Where can I get more information?

Why am I assumed to be immune if I was born before 1970?
  • Individuals born before 1970 are likely to have been exposed to measles in childhood, and are considered to have a natural immunity to it. However, individuals who are travelling outside of Saskatchewan should seek advice from their Public Health Office.

Do my childhood measles and rubella vaccinations protect me?
  • Individuals born in 1970 or later are considered to be immune if they have received two doses of a measles-containing vaccine.
  • The criteria for these doses are:
    • the first dose was provided after the individual's first birthday; and
    • the second dose was provided at least 4 weeks after the first dose.
  • If these criteria have been met, no further vaccinations are required for individuals born in 1970 or later. However, individuals who are travelling outside of Saskatchewan should seek advice from their Public Health Office.

I am pregnant. Does measles put my unborn baby at risk?
  • Yes, your unborn baby could be at risk if you are not immune to measles. Measles infection during pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, and low birth weight. Birth defects are rare, but possible.
  • If you are immune to measles, either through having had disease or from vaccination, you will pass on short term measles protection to your baby. This protection will disappear after the first few months of your baby’s life.

My child is under 1 year of age. Should my child get a measles vaccine now?
  • No. Wait until your child is 12 months old to get their first measles vaccine as per the routine provincial immunization schedule. However, if you plan to travel outside of Saskatchewan with your infant, you should seek advice from your Public Health Office.

My child is under 1 year of age and we are planning to travel to Alberta. Should my child get a measles vaccine now?
  • If you are planning to travel to the Edmonton, Calgary, or Central (Red Deer) Health Zones, Alberta Health Services is currently requiring all infants who are 6 months to less than 12 months of age to be vaccinated against measles. Please contact your Public Health Office for more information.

My child is under 1 year of age and we are planning to travel to the United States. Should my child get a measles vaccine now?
  • No. The United States is not a high risk area for measles transmission. Wait until your child is 12 months old to get their first measles vaccine as per the routine provincial immunization schedule.

My child is under 1 year of age and we are planning to travel to a country outside of the Americas. Should my child get a measles vaccine now?
  • Discuss with a Travel Health Centre. After discussion of the risks and benefits, a measles vaccine may be recommended for an infant who is 6 months to less than 1 year of age. Your child will still need to receive two doses of measles vaccine as per the routine provincial immunization schedule.

I have not been to the locations indicated in the public advisories, during the dates and times mentioned. Should I be concerned about getting measles?
  • Your risk for getting measles is low. However, you need to be sure that you and your family members are up-to-date on your immunizations. Contact your Public Health Office as needed.
  • In addition, if you do develop signs and symptoms of measles, you should stay at home, not be out in public, and not go to school or work. Call ahead to your physician’s office to make arrangements for assessment and testing.

I am not vaccinated against measles and I have been to the locations indicated in the public advisories, during the dates and times mentioned. What should I do?
  • If you were born in 1970 or later, contact your Public Health Office to get a measles vaccine as soon as possible.
  • If you develop signs and symptoms of measles, you should stay at home, not be out in public, and not go to school or work. Call ahead to your physician’s office to make arrangements for assessment and testing.

I am unsure of my measles vaccination status and I have been to the locations indicated in the public advisories, during the dates and times mentioned. What should I do?
  • If you were born in 1970 or later, contact your Public Health Office as soon as possible to review if you need a measles vaccine.
  • If you develop signs and symptoms of measles, you should stay at home, not be out in public, and not go to school or work. Call ahead to your physician’s office to make arrangements for assessment and testing.

In what circumstances would I need to isolate myself at home?
  • All persons with measles are infectious for 4 days prior to, and 4 days after the appearance of the rash and are required to self-isolate themselves at home, not be out in public, and not go to school or work during this time period.
  • An unvaccinated person who is identified by their Public Health Office as being a close contact of a person with measles may be required to stay at home, not be out in public, and not go to school or work for up to 28 days, depending on the circumstances, to prevent further transmission of measles. The time period for self-isolation depends on the time needed to demonstrate that the close contact has or has not developed symptoms of measles.

In what circumstances would my child be excluded from school or daycare?
  • When a child is excluded from school or daycare, they are also required to self-isolate at home and not be out in public.
  • A child under investigation for measles will be excluded from school or daycare by their physician or the Public Health Office until four days after the appearance of the rash.
  • An unvaccinated child who is identified by the Public Health Office as being a close contact of a person with measles will be excluded from school or daycare for up to 28 days, depending on the circumstances, to prevent further transmission of measles.

How can I get a copy of my child’s immunization records?
  • Contact your Public Health Office.

How can I get a copy of my own immunization record?
  • Contact your Public Health Office. If your immunization record is not complete or unavailable, the Public Health Office will provide you with recommendations on getting your immunizations up-to-date.

Quick Facts
  • Measles is highly contagious.
  • Measles can be very serious.
  • Immunization has made measles a rare disease.
  • Anyone who thinks they may have measles should see their doctor.