Vancouver, BC – Two new cases of measles infection have been reported to Vancouver Coastal Health. Both cases are related to the school outbreak, and had been receiving follow-up care as they were known to have been exposed to persons with measles infection.
This brings the total of people with measles, who either live in or spent time in VCH, to 15 people:
It's possible that more cases may occur in individuals who were previously exposed, since the incubation period for measles (the time from when someone has been exposed to when they may see symptoms of infection) is 21 days.
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. If you develop symptoms please contact your health care provider before you visit them so they can take precautions to prevent transmission of measles to others.
Those who never had the measles infection, or who did not have two doses of vaccine, are at highest risk of measles, and we encourage them to get fully immunized. Measles immunization is free for everyone.
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, and you have never had the infection, or have not had two doses of vaccine, please make an appointment to get the free vaccine before you go.
Two doses of measles vaccine are 99 per cent effective at preventing measles. One dose of vaccine is 95 per cent effective. Rarely, those who are fully immunized can get measles but they often have milder illness, and are less infectious to others.
Free vaccine is available at some local community health centres, the City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre, and family doctors and walk-in clinics. Vaccine is generally offered to children at 12 months and four to six years of age. Parents of children who are behind in their immunization should take this opportunity to get their children up to date. Residents travelling to measles endemic areas overseas should also get vaccinated prior to their travel. Pharmacists can immunize adults and children over five years old. Please call ahead to ensure vaccine is available at a specific location.
For general information about measles visit the VCH website.