Health Canada reminds us of the need to vaccinate children against measles

Santé Canada rappelle la nécessité de vacciner les enfants contre la rougeole

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The public authorities remind us that measles is a very contagious disease and that the best way to combat it remains the vaccination.

Before the resurgence of measles in the country in recent months, the deputy chief of the public health agency of Canada, Theresa Tam, calls on health professionals to take the time to inform and reassure parents about the need to vaccinate their children against the disease.

“The death of a child due to measles, would it be one, is something unacceptable,” she said by way of a press release Tuesday afternoon saying it was ” very concerned about the reappearance in Canada and elsewhere in the world of some vaccine-preventable diseases “.

Often confused with chickenpox, measles mainly affects children under five years and pregnant women. The virus, however, is much more serious, and one of the most contagious known to man. It remains in a room or on a surface up to two hours after the start of the infected person.

Since the beginning of the year, 19 cases of measles have already been reported in Canada. They have been reported by Quebec, British Columbia and the northwest Territories. According to Health Canada, 12 cases are still active at this time.

In Quebec, where two cases have been reported since January, the vast majority of newborns receive the vaccine against measles. According to the most recent data from the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ), 95 % of newborns receive the first dose of the vaccine. But only 85 % of children receive the second dose, six months later, required to be fully immunized.

False information

At the time of the Internet, the number of false news, or campaigns of misinformation circulating on social networks. What to sow doubt among parents that end up having “more concern on the prevention of the disease’ itself says Ms. Tam.

In his opinion, the health professionals have a role to play in this battle ongoing between the truth and the disinformation. “The way to converse with those who question the vaccines may have an impact on their confidence and help them decide to vaccinate their children. […] I encourage my colleagues, the health professionals, to take the necessary time to answer the questions of concerned parents. I also encourage parents and guardians to ask questions and to seek reliable sources of information, and credible to help them in their journey. “

A situation that is also affecting other developed countries, where it was believed the disease eliminated. Last month, the world health Organization has sounded the alarm over the increasing cases of measles in the world, noting an increase of about 50 % of the cases reported last year compared to 2017.