Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is monitoring two people who may have early symptoms of the measles. Both of these cases are related to the March 21, 2015 flight from China on which several people contracted the measles.
A total of four people have been confirmed with measles in the Lower Mainland – three in VCH and one in Fraser Health
VCH is providing free immunizations to help protect against the spread of the illness.
Measles is highly infectious and spread through the air when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. People can spread the virus four days before they show symptoms.
- Anyone possibly in contact with someone with the measles should get immunized within three days of contact to help prevent contracting the disease.
- Anyone who has only had one dose of vaccine, but receives the second dose within six days of contact, can have their immunity boosted to help prevent illness.
- And those unable to be immunized, such as those too young, pregnant women and the immunosuppressed, can receive antibodies to help prevent illness.
- To be fully protected against the measles, people should have two doses of the vaccine. In 1996, BC started routinely giving two doses to all infants at 12 months then again at 18 months or four years.
- If you were born between 1970-1996 there’s a chance you’ve only had one dose, and still need one more dose so that you are fully protected against the illness.
- People born prior to 1970 are considered immune to measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).
- If you’re not sure how many doses you have had, it is safe to get another dose of the vaccine.
- Anyone who has ever had the infection does not need to be immunized.
Once you get two doses of the MMR vaccine, it is good for life.
To book a free measles vaccination, contact a VCH Public Health Unit, VCH Travel Clinic or your family doctor.
If you plan to travel, VCH recommends visiting a doctor or the VCH Travel Clinic to get up to date on all immunizations.
For more information about the measles visit the measles