Measles in the NWT

Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads through indoor air.   

People born before 1970, who have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine or who had measles are immune. 

Exposed individuals who are not immune may prevent illness if they receive measles-containing vaccine within three days of exposure. Any non-immune individuals who are exposed to measles should immediately contact their community health centre or health care practitioner to review their option of receiving the vaccine.

Measles can be dangerous for infants, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems. For these higher-risk individuals, a different form of immunization (immune globulin) reduces the risk if given within six days of exposure. Higher-risk individuals exposed to measles should immediately contact their community health centre or health care practitioner. In addition to the above recommendations, health care workers or military who are exposed to measles should immediately contact their employer’s occupational health team.

Susceptible individuals who are exposed should monitor for the following symptoms, which appear 7 to 21 days after exposure:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Rash starting on the face and spreading to the chest. 

If you develop symptoms, remain at home and call your health care provider immediately. Advance calling ensures health facilities can take precautions to prevent transmission of measles to others. 

The best way to protect against measles disease is to get immunized. Children 12 months of age and over, and adults born from 1970 onwards should receive two doses of the vaccine. Immunization is available at your community health centre or local public health unit. 

For more information on measles visit:

Original posted on https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/measles.

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