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Small measles outbreak in Lower Mainland; very low risk to general population

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is reporting a small measles outbreak in the Lower Mainland, but says the overall risk for the general population remains very low.  Ten laboratory-confirmed cases and four suspect cases of measles have been identified in the past two weeks.  Eight of the 14 cases are
associated with a single household with unvaccinated people.

The BCCDC says the disease was brought into the country by two people travelling here from another country in February or early March.  But they maintain the risk to most people is low, because children routinely receive the measles vaccine between their first and second birthdays.

The BCCDC says none of the cases identified to date had two doses of measles vaccine, which is needed for full protection. They also add that many were not immunized because of philosophical objections, and some had a history of only receiving a single dose of measles vaccine, or did not know their immunization

For those who haven’t had the vaccine, measles is a highly contagious virus.  Symptoms begin with a runny nose, fever, and cough.  Later, a rash develops, and the eyes can be red and sensitive to light.

If you have symptoms you are urged to call your doctor, or HealthLink at 8-1-1.

For more information, visit the BCCDC website.