An Ottawa cancer patient who contracted measles despite being vaccinated is expressing her anger at people who have deliberately decided not to protect themselves against the highly contagious infectious disease.
“If you can be vaccinated, you should be,” said Jayda Kelsall, 36, from an isolation unit at the Ottawa Hospital.
Kelsall had previously told CBC she didn’t want to be identified because she feared reprisal, but changed her mind on Tuesday.
Kelsall said she doesn’t understand the resistance to vaccines.
“To protect your neighbours and your friends and all the people you love. It doesn’t make sense to me,” she said.
Jayda Kelsall in a photo she took while in an isolation room at the Ottawa Hospital. (Supplied )
Contracted disease in U.K.
Kelsall had already been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the abdomen.
She said she contracted measles on a trip to the United Kingdom sponsored by a charity that helps adult patients fulfil their lifelong dreams.
In her case, the dream involved visiting sites associated with the Harry Potter series — but on her return she landed in hospital with a soaring fever.
Doctors initially thought her sudden illness was related to the cancer, but when she broke out in spots last Wednesday evening and a rash appeared her arms and chest, they called in the infectious diseases specialist, put her in isolation and tested for the measles virus.
When she was told the test came back positive, Kelsall thought they were joking
“I laughed, but it was an ‘I don’t know what to do with this information’ kind of laugh,” Kelsall said.