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News release: February 29, 2024

Statement from Peel Public Health on measles vaccination and March Break travel

Brampton, ON. (February 29, 2024) – Four cases of measles have been reported in Ontario since the start of the year, with most having a link to international travel. These cases come at a time when global health authorities are reporting a significant increase in measles. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a 79% increase in the number of global measles cases in 2023 compared to 2022.

With March break approaching, Peel Public Health is advising all individuals to ensure they are up to date with measles vaccination, especially ahead of any international travel. All Ontarians are eligible for two publicly funded doses of the MMR vaccine based on the healthcare provider's clinical judgment and the needs of the patient. The first dose of MMR is routinely given after age one, and the second dose between ages 4-6. Children as young as six months may be vaccinated if travelling outside of Canada. There is a benefit to getting up to date with MMR any time before travel.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads easily to those who are not immunized or have not previously had measles. Infants under one year of age, unimmunized pregnant individuals, and people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of complications. Infection can lead to severe complications, including deafness and brain damage caused by inflammation of the brain. Measles can be fatal.

Measles symptoms begin 7-21 days after infection and may include:

If you suspect you may have contracted measles while returning to Canada from travel abroad, you're advised to:

Anyone experiencing symptoms after returning from travel should first contact their healthcare provider, or if not available, their local public health unit as soon as possible to discuss follow-up recommendations and not attend work or school. People concerned about measles symptoms should call their health care provider before going to see them to minimize exposures to others.

Media contact

Jason Ritchie
Communications Specialist
Region of Peel

About Peel Region

In 2024, Peel Region marks its 50th anniversary. Peel Region works with residents and partners to create a healthy, safe, and connected Community for Life for approximately 1.5 million people and over 200,000 businesses in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon. Peel's services touch the lives of residents every day. For more information explore and follow us on X @regionofpeel and Instagram

On December 13, 2023, the Ontario government announced that Peel Region will not be dissolved, and that Bill 112 legislation will be updated to reflect service delivery in Peel. Services for residents and businesses will continue without interruption. For updates and more information, visit Peel's transition page.