The number of cases of measles in Manitoba remained at seven on Friday, although provincial officials did release several identified "potential transmission settings" — including a child’s hair salon and a bull-riding event at the MTS Centre.
The transmission settings, dates and times released by the department of health include:
- Hair Do Zoo, 845 Dakota Street : April 11 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; April 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; April 14 from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
- The MTS Centre: April 12, 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Professional Bull Riders event.
- Shoppers Drug Mart, 785 Dakota: April 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.
- UPS, 845 Dakota: April 14 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
- Sobeys grocery store, 1500 Dakota: April 13 from noon to 5 p.m.
These are all public locations where one of the seven individuals with a case of highly contagious measles attended.
Officials released the possible transmission settings in an effort to alert the general public, in particular the 15 to 20 per cent of Manitobans who are not vaccinated.
"The people we’re most concerned about are those who are unimmunized," said Dr. Tim Hilderman, a medical officer for the department. "Those are the people at greatest risk."
It’s important to note that the listed locations are safe, as the transmission period for the airborne virus only lasts during the posted time periods.
Dr. Hilderman said the virus is transmitted largely by saliva, sweat and coughing. "With measles, sharing air space increases the risk of exposure," he said.
The number of people at any transmission location — from only a handful at a UPS store to several hundred at a bull riding event at the MTS Centre — can increase the possibility of exposure. However, Hilderman noted that one of the original measles transmission settings included the Manitoba Winter Games yet "it didn’t produce any secondary cases and we would have expected to have seen those by now."
Manitoba Health advised in a statement that people who visited this location and think they might have measles or have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with measles should phone their health care provider or Health Links-Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) for more information.