Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

© Valentin Flauraud/REUTERS

Saskatchewan's first suspected case of measles is not being linked to an outbreak in southern Alberta, but that has not left Saskatchewan health officials breathing any easier.

With Regina preparing for several high-profile events, including the 101st Grey Cup game, Saqib Shahab, the province's chief medical officer, acknowledged "a suspected" case of measles had been reported with "some history of travel to southern Alberta." But Dr. Shahab was quick to add, "This case is not currently considered linked to the Alberta outbreak. The symptoms were mild and the patient is fully recovered. … Even so, we still have to raise awareness."

The Alberta cases were considered severe.

Story continues below advertisement

Given how far and how quickly the contagious disease can spread, Saskatchewan went on alert not long after Alberta Health Services reported its first case in late October – a Grade 9 student at the Coaldale Christian School. Southern Alberta has low immunization rates, and so far, 20 cases have been confirmed in the Lethbridge area.

Saskatchewan health officials took to reminding people that measles has not been eradicated and that vaccinations and booster shots are a necessary defence.

"We are fairly close in proximity [to southern Alberta], and there are lots of cultural ties, family ties and business reasons for people to go back and forth," said Dr. Shahab, who is based in Regina. "The last three years, we've been increasingly aware of measles. Last year, we had two cases in Regina in the spring and four cases in the fall. In Saskatoon and Prince Albert, we had two cases. So in recent years, we had eight cases and we did a lot to boost immunization rates."

Saskatchewan's immunization rate is 92 per cent for two doses of the measles vaccine. In Alberta, the rate sits at 85 per cent, well off the stated goal of 98 per cent to achieve what is known as herd immunity. Immunization is not mandatory in either province, yet both set up vaccination clinics and assessment centres.

In southern Alberta alone, the AHS has administered more than 2,000 vaccination doses in less than three weeks.

In Regina, staying measles free is about to become a necessity. On Sunday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders host the B.C. Lions in a Canadian Football League playoff game that should draw more than 30,000 spectators to Mosaic Stadium. On Monday, the Canadian Western Agribition begins – a six-day livestock/trade show that includes the Canadian Cowboys Association Finals rodeo. Closing out the month is a sold-out Grey Cup with 50,000 people .

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies