A total of eight measles infections have been identified in Vancouver this week.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Medical Health Officers have also determined that the first infection was acquired outside of North America.
Last week, another, unrelated case of measles was also confirmed. This brings “the total number of cases to nine this month” reads a statement.
One of the individuals visited the BC Children’s Hospital Emergency Department while they were infectious. Those who were at the emergency department on the dates and times below could have been exposed. Most people in B.C. are immune to measles.
However, if you were at the emergency department during these times and do develop symptoms of measles, please contact your family doctor, or doctor at a walk-in clinic.
Those dates and times are:
- January 21, 2019 – 10:00 a.m. to 6:10 p.m.
- January 23, 2019 – 4:45 p.m. to 11:10 p.m.
- January 24, 2019 – 8:13 a.m. to 11:40 a.m.
- February 1, 2019 – 2:05 p.m. to 6:55 p.m.
“Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads through the air. Close contact is not needed for transmission. The disease can also be spread through sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, or kissing an infected person” continues the statement.
Symptoms Of Measles
Symptoms of measles include:
- runny nose
These symptoms are followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.
An infected person can spread measles before knowing they have been infected. People are infectious to others from four days before to four days after the onset of rash.
People born before January 1, 1970 and those who have had measles are likely immune. Those born between 1970 and 1994, or grew up outside of B.C., may have had only one dose of measles vaccine and need a second dose to be fully protected. Those born after 1970 who are not fully immunized with two doses of a measles vaccine, and who have not had measles disease in the past, should receive a dose of measles mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.
If you develop the early symptoms of measles, please call your doctor’s office first and tell them that you think you may have measles so they can book you in at a time that will ensure you don’t expose others. This will allow your doctor to take precautions to protect other patients. Please also call Vancouver Coastal Health’s Public Health Team at 604-675-3900 for advice and to report any illness.
As per British Columbia’s measles control guidelines individuals who are not immune to measles may not attend school until the period of transmission has passed.