New Brunswick confirms 2 more cases of measles in Saint John, total now at 11

The outbreak of measles in Saint John has now reached double digits.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, announced on Wednesday that they have confirmed two more cases of measles in the Saint John area, bringing the total to 11 this season.

Both of the cases announced on Wednesday have been linked to a previously confirmed case at Kennebecasis Valley High School, where there were nine confirmed cases.

On Friday, public health officials issued a directive that staff and students at the high school must receive a measles booster shot if they want to continue working and studying at the school.

As of Monday, more than 950 students and staff had been given the vaccine, and it was still available to the final few people who had not received it.

The first case in Saint John was confirmed last month in an individual who had recently travelled internationally.

The New Brunswick Community College reported a suspected case of the measles earlier in May, but tests came back negative.

The measles virus is transmitted through the air or by direct contact with an infected person. Measles can be more severe in adults and infants and can lead to complications.

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore and/or red eyes, runny nose or tiny white spots in the mouth. Within three to seven days, a red blotchy rash will appear, first on the face and then spreading to the body, arms and legs.

Education Minister Dominic Cardy has said he’s not ruling out mandatory immunization for teachers and school staff in the province.

When asked if she thinks that’s necessary, Russell said that during an outbreak is not the time for that debate.

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