Canada could experience the same type of measles outbreaks that Washington and New York states are currently facing because of low vaccination rates and the highly contagious nature of the virus, public health experts warn.

Measles is one of the most highly contagious viruses in existence, which makes the prospect of an outbreak frightening. It’s so contagious that it can live in an air space for two hours. This means that if an infected person coughs or sneezes in a room, and then leaves, an unvaccinated person who enters the room two hours later can still get measles. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, if a person has measles, 90 per cent of those in proximity will also contract the virus unless they have been vaccinated or are immune.

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