Historic measles outbreak declared over, Fraser Health emphasizes importance of timely immunization

FRASER Health on Monday announced the end of the measles outbreak in Fraser East.  Dr. Paul Van Buynder, Fraser Health Chief Medical Health Officer, said the number of transmissions and new cases has vastly been reduced, and while occasional cases may still be seen, the outbreak response in Fraser Health is now coming to a close.

“The size of, and speed at which, this outbreak spread resulted in more cases of measles than the province has seen in the past 15 years, and was the largest outbreak in almost 30 years,” said Van Buynder, Chief Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health.  “National Immunization Awareness Week is an important time to remind parents how quickly these diseases can come back, and that vaccinations are your best shot at protecting your children from these preventable illnesses.”

In a four-week period, the Fraser region had over 400 cases of measles with some patients requiring hospitalization.  Although measles has been eliminated in Canada, it is still common in other countries, and cases of measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases are introduced to Canada on a regular basis.  Your best protection against becoming ill, or worse, is being immunized against these infections.

“Life is busy and it’s easy to forget to stay on top of your children’s immunization schedule,” says Dr. Michelle Murti, Medical Health Officer for Fraser Health.  “Fortunately, new tools make it easier to keep track of your child’s appointments and immunizations.  ImmunizeBC.ca offers free text reminders for immunization appointments right to your mobile phone; and the new immunization app allows you to keep track of your whole family’s immunization records, as well as access reliable information about recommended and routine vaccinations for children, adults and travelers.”

For more information on these tools and other immunization tips visit fraserhealth.ca/immunize