Measles: Monitoring

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How Canada monitors measles

Measles is a nationally notifiable disease in Canada. That means that every confirmed case of measles gets reported to the Public Health Agency of Canada for national monitoring purposes. Health care providers and labs report cases to their local public health unit. These reports are then forwarded to provincial and territorial public health officials, and then to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The Canadian Measles and Rubella Surveillance System collects detailed information on every case. The Measles and Rubella Weekly Report shows the number of cases reported by provinces and territories each week.

How measles outbreaks happen

The risk of an outbreak is highest when:

  • a person who's unvaccinated or non-immune travels to a country where measles is circulating and gets infected
  • there are a lot of people who are unvaccinated or non-immune clustered together in particular regions or communities

This can lead to a measles outbreak.

Measles is one of the most contagious diseases. Vaccination rates in Canada are high but are below the level needed for community immunity in some areas.

Canada has established vaccination coverage goals. These goals help to ensure the best possible protection and help create community immunity.

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