Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has confirmed a new case of measles in the region.
In a press conference today, Dr. Althea Hayden said that the infected individual was a minor and the case was acquired locally.
“Measles is not ordinarily transmitted here,” she said.
This is the second case of measles reported by VCH within the last week. On February 9, VCH confirmed a resident in the region had been diagnosed and was undergoing treatment.
The region includes Vancouver, Richmond, North and West Vancouver and along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, Sunshine Coast and BC’s Central Coast.
Hayden says that with this new case, individuals who were in contact with the infected person have been notified.
“The general public doesn’t need to be concerned they were exposed to this case,” she said.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes (often sensitive to light), typically starting seven to 14 days after exposure. These are followed three to seven days later by a rash, which starts first on the face and neck, and spreads to the chest, arms and legs, and lasts at least three days. You may also notice spots inside your mouth that look like small grains of sand on a red base.
- Check your immunization records to make sure you and your children have had two doses of the measles vaccine (MMR or MMRV). Your immunization record or your doctor can provide you with this information. Adults 18 years of age and older, born in or after 1970 require two doses of measles vaccine; children 12 months to less than 18 years of age, health care workers and adults attending post-secondary institutions are required to have two doses; those born before 1970 are generally considered immune.
- If your immunization record is not up-to-date, contact your local public health unit.
- Infants under one year of age, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems can get very ill with measles and should contact their health care professional immediately for further assessment.
- Watch for symptoms of measles until 21 days after exposure. These include a high fever, cold-like symptoms (cough/runny nose); sore eyes or sensitivity to light; small spots with a white centre on the inside of the mouth; and a red rash lasting four to seven days.
“The best way to protect yourself and your children is to check your vaccine records,” noted Hayden.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article stated that “Adults 18 years of age and older, born in or after 1970 require one dose of measles vaccine.” However, two doses are required.