Volume 94, Issue 97

Friday, March 23, 2001


3-yr. degree revision hot topic at Senate

Literacy linked to income

London and Western communities get together at the breakfast table

Calgary wants photo IDs for panhandlers

USC promises a fruitful listening tour

McMaster measles scare prompts clinics


Is it time to opt-in to the USC?

His Royal Mintiness

McMaster measles scare prompts clinics

By Adam Stewart
Gazette Staff

A McMaster student was recently diagnosed with red measles, causing the university to hold immunization clinics.

According to Cathy Buffett, acting director of communicable diseases for Hamilton's Department of Health, a McMaster student has contracted red measles.

"Red measles is a very contagious disease," Buffett said, adding the number of cases has gone down since a second dose of the vaccine was administered to students in 1996 by Hamilton's Health Department.

She said people between the ages of 23 and 44 would not have received the second dose, and would not have a natural immunity.

"Overall, it's a fairly low threat," Buffett said, noting red measles rarely causes serious complications.

"It's important that we get the information out as quickly as possible," said Andrea Farquhar, assistant director of public relations for McMaster University.

According to Farquhar, the university held clinics on Tuesday, Wednesday, and yesterday.

"There isn't a flood of students coming to the clinics. On the first few hours of the first day, there were 50 students," Farquhar said. "It's a good place to have questions answered."

Farquhar said symptoms of measles include high fever, cold-like symptoms, small spots with a white centre on the inside of the mouth, sore eyes, and a red rash lasting four to seven days.

Vincent Morris, a professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at Western, said red measles clear up on their own and confers lifetime immunity on the patient.

Morris added vaccinations are quite effective, and most people get them during childhood.

Buffett said the clinic at the university would be opened up to the Hamilton community if secondary cases developed.

"We haven't seen many people who've been concerned," said Bryce Rudyk, VP-education for McMaster's student union.

"We know the student was in classes and has been in contact with other students. If students have been immunized, there should be little concern," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000