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VCH confirms second case of measles in Vancouver this month

Last Updated Feb 13, 2019 at 11:20 pm PDT


Vancouver Coastal Health says one person has been infected with the measles, and caught it locally

Health officials aren't sure where the infected person contracted the disease

They're suggesting adults consider getting a booster shot, and make sure their immunizations are up to date

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — There’s been another case of the measles in Vancouver, the second confirmed case in the city this month and in 2019.

Vancouver Coastal Health says the infected person is a minor, and caught the disease here. The first person caught the disease abroad.

Dr. Althea Hayden says they don’t know where it came from.

“This current case did acquire measles locally, and that means other people in our community may also have been exposed to measles,” she says. “We can’t say for sure how this current case was exposed to measles, all we know is that exposure happened here in British Columbia.”

RELATED: Case of measles confirmed in Vancouver

Health officials are still trying to find out where it came from, as they don’t believe this case is connected to the earlier measles case this month.

“We would be much less concerned about it if we knew exactly where it came from,” she says.

Hayden wouldn’t confirm if the person who got the disease was vaccinated, only adding that people who are not vaccinated are more at risk than people who are vaccinated.

“With two doses of vaccine, you’re considered to have a 99 per cent chance of being immune to measles,” she says. “Most cases now occur in people who were born after 1970 who are either (not) immunized, or who only have one dose of measles containing vaccine.”

She adds that they don’t want to cause undue alarm, but adults should think about getting booster shots.

Health officials say everyone who was in contact with the infected person was notified.

“VCH has notified people who were in contact with the case, and urged under-vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals among them to be immunized,” reads a release from VCH. “As per British Columbia’s measles control guidelines individuals who are not immune to measles may not attend school until the period of transmission has passed (February 28th).”

Symptoms of measles include a fever, red eyes, cough, a runny nose, along with a rash. It is highly infectious and can spread through coughs and sneezes.

People who have had the infection don’t need to be immunized. In most cases, children born after 1994 in B.C. got two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) — provided they were given the vaccine — but people born before that time or outside of B.C. may not have received both doses. However, those born before 1970 are likely immune.

Vancouver Coastal Heatlh recommends anyone who isn’t sure on their immunization or disease history to be vaccinated.

– With files from Lasia Kretzel