(CNN) — Toronto’s public health department is requiring staff to go through physical exams and health counseling before returning to work due to concerns about personal health, the city said Wednesday.
The city said it’s “pausing a limited number of recreation programs” that do not use vaccinations for hired staff, and urging any parents who have concerns about their child’s possible exposure to be tested for measles.
Nine cases of measles were reported in Toronto so far this year, the first three of which were connected to unvaccinated staff members, Toronto Public Health reported in March.
The county’s health authority posted a news release Wednesday on its website noting the halt to some programs. “In light of the measles case outbreak,” the statement said, “the city of Toronto’s health department is requiring personal health examinations and health counseling before returning to work for staff who have not had three doses of MMR,” the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
Patients who suspect they may have been exposed to measles from an unvaccinated staff member should immediately consult their health care provider, the county said. “The child should not return to class or program for several days,” the county said.
The county also said that vaccinations can prevent measles in people who have been exposed to the virus. Parents with concerns can seek vaccination in person at any of the nine specialized clinics for children in the county’s public health system, the county said. The cases of measles were among children who had not received their measles vaccines, the county said.
The county recommends “resuming most routine attendance if vaccinated.” The county says, however, that children should get the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine after finishing their regular vaccinations for polio, tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough. Those recommendations were not available Wednesday on the Health Care Teams website.
The county says that the measles case is connected to the human smuggling operation that was shut down last week.
“The outbreak may have involved people who came to Canada in the van from the United States,” the county said.
A January report of a possible measles case among unaccompanied minors at a US Border Patrol facility in McAllen, Texas, prompted a “seizing a limited number of unvaccinated children,” CNN affiliate KVII reported. Three 15-year-old girls have since tested positive for measles, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week.