Surrey/Vancouver, BC – A new case of measles infection has been identified in the Lower Mainland. Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health have determined that the infection was acquired abroad. Public Health officials from both health authorities are following up directly with those who are known to have been exposed to the virus.
The individual, who lives in the Fraser Health region, was in several public places while they were infectious. Members of the public may have also been exposed if they were on the following flight, or if they spent any amount of time at the following locations between the specific times listed below:
Ramada by Wyndham, 631 Lougheed Highway, Coquitlam
Sun Star Restaurant (inside the Ramada) between 8:30 a.m. and noon
Lougheed Town Centre, 9855 Austin Ave, Burnaby between 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
If people exposed are not immune but get vaccinated within 3 days of exposure they can help prevent getting sick.
If you were in any of these locations during the listed dates and times public health recommends you review your immunization history and watch for signs and symptoms of measles. If you are unvaccinated, pregnant and/or immunosuppressed and you may have been exposed, consult with your physician. If you develop measles symptoms, please call ahead to your doctor's office and tell them that you think you may have measles to allow your doctor to take precautions to protect other patients for when you visit.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest. Severe complications from measles can include pneumonia, inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions (seizures), deafness, brain damage, and death. People are infectious to others from four days before to four days after the rash starts.
If you develop symptoms of measles before May 5th, please call your doctor's office first and tell them that you think you may have measles to allow them to take precautions to protect other patients when you visit. People with symptoms should also report their illness to VCH Public Health (604-675-3900).
This is the 27th confirmed case of measles in the province to date this year.
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.
Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Europe, the U.S., Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. If you are planning to visit any locations with measles circulating, please ensure you are fully immunized to be protected before traveling.
Two doses of measles vaccine are very effective at preventing measles. Rarely, those who are fully immunized can get measles but they often have milder illness, and are less infectious to others.
Measles immunization is free. You can get the measles vaccine at your family doctor, local walk-in clinic, or Urgent Primary Care Centre. Your pharmacist (for adults and kids over five) may also have the vaccine available. Please call ahead to ensure vaccine is available at a specific location.
Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are also working to offer large-scale public measles vaccination clinics for all school-aged children as part of the Ministry of Health's measles catch-up program. For more information about these clinics please visit Fraser Health's website or Vancouver Coastal Health's website.
As part of the measles catch-up campaign announced last month by the Ministry of Health almost 40,000 records for school-aged kids have been reviewed to date, and over 9,000 letters have been sent to those that are not up-to-date with information about when and where they can get their measles containing vaccine.
63 community-based measles immunization clinics have been booked.
As part of the measles catch-up campaign announced last month by the Ministry of Health almost 130,000 records for school-aged kids have been reviewed to date, and over 14,000 letters and emails will be sent to parents and guardians about the service.
Vaccine will be available at community health centres, and certain pharmacies and family doctors.