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Measles in VCH


Immunization locations

London Drugs #2, 710 Granville Street

London Drugs #4, 525 West Broadway

City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre, 1290 Hornby Street

Shoppers Drug Mart, 11800 Cambie Road 

Shoppers Drug Mart, 6060 Minoru Blvd

Shoppers Drug Mart, 5555 Gilbert Rd

Terra Nova Medical Clinic, 6011 No 1 Rd #140



London Drugs

Shoppers Drug Mart


Nesters Pharmacy


Nesters Pharmacy

Shoppers Drug Mart

Rexall Marketplace

Rexall Village Square


Frontier Pharmacy

Frequently asked questions

How does it affect you if you have been in the same area (like a restaurant, spa etc.) as an infectious person?

If you were at a location where you may have been exposed and you have not had measles or you are not fully immunized (two doses of vaccine), you can get a vaccine up to six days of being exposed, which can provide some protection against the infection.

If you know that you have not had measles or been fully immunized, we recommend that you monitor for symptoms for 21 days after the date you possibly were exposed.

What are the symptoms of measles?

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes that are often sensitive to light. These symptoms are followed by a rash, which starts first on the face and neck, and spreads to the chest, arms and legs, and lasts about four to seven days. There may also be small white spots inside the mouth.
Symptoms can start as soon as seven days, and up to 21 days, after a person is infected with the virus.

What should I do if I think I have measles?

If you have these symptoms but don't feel so unwell that you feel you need to see a doctor you can call 811 or VCH Public Health at 1 (855)-675-3900. A nurse can help determine what if any diagnostic testing is necessary.

If you feel unwell, and need to see a doctor, please call ahead to make sure precautions can be taken to prevent spreading measles to others. The doctor or triage nurse can make sure that you are given a mask upon your arrival to the health care facility, and are taken into a closed area for an examination and attend the clinic at a time when the waiting room is empty.

To make a diagnosis a doctor or nurse will need:

  1. Your immunization history

  2. They may also need to do a physical examination, blood tests, and throat swab or urine sample.


What is the treatment for measles?

Measles is a serious illness with no specific treatment, but most people recover within a week or two.

Prevention, via immunization, is better than treatment.  However if infected with the virus, after seeing a health care provider, home treatment includes:

  • Drink plenty of fluids such as water, juice and soup, especially if you have a fever.

  • Get plenty of rest.

  • Stay away from other people as much as you can so that you don't spread the disease.

  • If your child has measles, keep him or her out of school and activities until at least four days after the rash first appeared. Keep your child out longer if he or she is not feeling well.

  • Your doctor may suggest vitamin A supplements for your child.

Who is most at risk?

Those who are not immunized at all or not fully immunized (two doses of vaccine) are at the highest risk.

Two doses of measles vaccine are 99 per cent effective at preventing measles.

One dose of vaccine is 95 per cent effective.

How is measles spread?

The virus is spread through the air and can survive in the air for several hours. Washing hands, sneezing or coughing into your arm, and refraining from sharing food, drinks, kissing, or sharing items such as cigarettes will reduce the transfer of the virus.

Can I still get measles if I have had measles before?

No, if you have ever had the infection, you cannot get sick again.

Can I still get measles if I have had two vaccine doses?

Yes, there is a very small chance (less than 1 per cent) that you can catch measles but you would have a milder case, and would be less infectious to others. 


Where can I get immunized?

You can be immunized at some local community health centres, the City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre, and family doctors and walk-in clinics. Pharmacists can immunize adults and children over five years old. Please call ahead to ensure vaccine is available.

Do I have to pay for the measles vaccine?

No, the measles vaccine is free for anyone.

Should I get my baby under 1 year of age immunized?

We aren't seeing evidence that measles is circulating unnoticed in our community. That means that the risk to the general public remains low. Children should be immunized at 12 months, then again before they start kindergarten. Families planning international travel should visit a travel clinic to seek advice as to whether early vaccination is warranted for travel to specific destinations.

If I don't know my immunization history, what should I do?

If you have never been sick with measles, then you need two doses of vaccine to be protected. Most people born before 1970, had measles as a child and don't need to be immunized.

How do I get my immunization records?

Check your home for your paper record of immunization. Try looking through baby books or other saved documents from your childhood.

Check with your parents or other caregivers to see if they have a record of your immunizations.

Check with your current and previous family doctors. Keep in mind that immunization records are kept at doctors' offices for a limited time.

Check with your local community health centre (where you lived when you would have received immunizations) if you were immunized at your community health centre or in school.

I'm under 19. Do I need my parent's permission to get a vaccine?

Vaccines are like all other medical care. People under the age of 19, who are able to understand the benefits and possible reactions for each vaccine and the risk of not getting immunized, can legally consent to or refuse immunizations.

For more information on mature minor consent see HealthLinkBC File #119 The Infants Act, Mature Minor Consent and Immunization.

I am pregnant. Can I get measles vaccination?

No. The MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella) is a live vaccine and therefore it is not recommended that pregnant women be vaccinated for measles until after they give birth.  However, to lower the risk of infection, it is recommended that everyone within the same household be up to date on vaccinations to protect you and your baby. 

Once vaccinated with the MMR how long does it take for the vaccine to be effective?

It takes about two weeks after the MMR vaccine for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against these viruses. 

How long does the measles vaccine last?

The protection from the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella) is expected to last for a lifetime.


Should I avoid public outings during this outbreak?

No. We don't believe that measles is spreading unnoticed in our community.  Please do not avoid going out and about. We have alerted the public to exposures at specific places and times because normally there is not a risk of measles in our community. When we become aware of an exposure we directly notify individuals who were exposed. When exposures occur and it is impossible to notify individuals, we notify the public.

What makes these cases an outbreak?

We are calling this an outbreak because the cases of disease are more than what would normally be expected here in our region. Typically, most people here who get measles get infected while traveling abroad. It is not typical to have so many cases here, and for cases to spread locally.

General measles info: Call 8-1-1 (available 24 hours a day, daily)

VCH Public Health: 604-675-3900

Twitter: @VCHhealthcare
Facebook: VCHhealthcare

For measles information in other languages, visit HealthLinkBC Measles (available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Korean, Punjabi, Spanish, Vietnamese) 

Two new measles cases confirmed

February 27, 2019

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:

  • 12 related to the school outbreak (first case acquired via travel)

  • 3 others acquired while traveling

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. 

Possible measles exposure locations

If you were at any of these locations during these times you may have been exposed to measles.




February 11

Arrived in Vancouver at approximately 4pm

Philippine Airlines Flight PR 116, landed at YVR

February 11

4pm – 7pm

YVR, international arrivals and customs areas

February 11

5pm – 7pm (approximate)

Shuttle Bus from YVR to La Quinta Inn, Richmond

February 12

8:30am – 10:30am (approximate)

Shuttle Bus from La Quinta Inn, Richmond to YVR

February 12

9am – 12:30pm

YVR, Air Canada domestic departures area

February 16

6pm – 10pm

Little Ongpin Restaurant, Richmond

February 17

11am – 9pm

Toys R Us, Lansdowne Centre, Richmond

February 17

1pm – 3:45pm

Dave's Fish and Chips, Steveston

February 18

9:45am – 11:45am

McDonald's Restaurant, Squamish

February 18

11am –  7:15pm

Scandinave Spa, Whistler

February 18

11am –  9pm

Toys R Us, Lansdowne Centre, Richmond

SOURCE: Measles in VCH ( )
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