Fraser Health is working with BCIT to alert students who may have come in contact with this particular student of a possible exposure to measles. Students who attended classes in building NE1 at the Burnaby BCIT campus on March 6 or 7 can return to school on March 17 if they have two documented doses of MMR vaccine, if they are born before 1970 or if they have had measles illness in the past.
People with symptoms of measles are asked to isolate themselves at home. Anyone that is seriously ill is asked to contact their doctor, public health unit, or emergency department prior to arriving in order to prevent the spread of the disease to other vulnerable patients.
“Measles is a very contagious disease. Those who aren’t vaccinated can spread the disease quickly. If you are showing measles-like symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or 811,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, Chief Medical Health Officer with Fraser Health.
The best protection against measles remains two doses of measles vaccine. Vaccinations are available to the public through pharmacies, doctors or walk-in clinics.
FRASER Health also advised on Thursday that measles cases now appear to be occurring in the general communities of Chilliwack and Agassiz, outside of the previous school and religious group areas.
Fraser Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Van Buynder, confirmed one child has been admitted to hospital so far. He reminds all residents of Fraser East that the best protection against measles infection remains two doses of measles vaccine.
Arrangements are being made to distribute increased measles vaccine to general practitioners and pharmacies in the Fraser East region (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope). Fraser Health is requesting that older children and adults requiring immunization access the vaccine through one of these health care providers.
Children under the age of five years are most at risk of serious disease and need to obtain the vaccine from a general practitioner or a public health clinic.
Special vaccination clinics in Chilliwack and Agassiz are being organized for early next week and announcements regarding their availability will be made on the Fraser Health website.
People with symptoms of measles are asked to isolate themselves at home. Anyone that is seriously ill is asked to contact their general practitioner, public health unit, or emergency department prior to arriving in order to prevent the spread of the disease to other vulnerable patients.
For further information about measles, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.
Buynder said: “It is not necessary to attend a medical centre for testing to confirm measles during an outbreak unless you are quite sick. We know there is measles circulating and laboratory confirmation is not necessary. However, if you are seriously ill, please see a doctor after warning them you are coming.”
MEASLES (red measles) is a severe illness caused by the measles virus. Measles spreads easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. The measles virus can survive in small droplets in the air for several hours. The airborne spread of measles virus makes the disease very contagious.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes (often sensitive to light). These are followed 3-7 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 3 days. You may also notice spots inside your mouth that look like small grains of sand on a red base.