Measles alert for several Vancouver locations

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VANCOUVER Coastal Health is warning anyone who went to the Skookum Festival at Stanley Park, visited Noodlebox Mount Pleasant at 2511 Main Street or the Outdoor Community Block Party at 1188 Quebec Street, or used public transit in Vancouver at specific times, about a possible measles exposure.

An individual who attended the festival as well as other events and locations, has been confirmed to have measles, therefore potentially having exposed others. Measles is a highly infectious disease that is spread through the air. People who are not fully immunized against measles or who have never had the disease are at risk of contracting the disease, says Vancouver Coastal Health.

If you were at any of the locations during the times listed below, and you have not been fully immunized with two doses of a measles vaccine (such as MMR), nor have had measles disease in the past, then you should see your doctor immediately. If you think you have been exposed and are not immune to measles, you should get immunized within six days of exposure to prevent getting the disease.

  • Saturday, September 8 – Skookum Festival, Stanley Park, 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Saturday, September 8 – Aquabus from Olympic Village to Hornby Street, approximate trip start was 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 8 – Canada Line SkyTrain from Vancouver City Centre to Broadway-City Hall Station, 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.
  • Sunday, September 9 – Outdoor Community Block Party at 1188 Quebec Street, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 9 – Main Street bus from Terminal Station to Broadway, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, September 11 – Noodlebox Mount Pleasant (2511 Main Street) – Noon – 6 p.m.

Most people in B.C. are immune to measles because they’ve had two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine or they’ve had the illness in the past. If you were born before January 1, 1970, you are likely to be immune. If you were born between 1970 and 1994, or grew up outside of B.C., you may have received only one dose of the MMR vaccine and require a second dose to be fully protected.

You can get the vaccine for free at your doctor’s office, your pharmacist, or local community health centre (for adults and kids over five). Infants under one year of age, pregnant women, and people with immune problems should not get the MMR vaccine and instead immediately consult their doctor or call VCH Public Health (604-675-3900).

Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

Anyone who may have contracted measles from this exposure on the dates listed above would begin developing these symptoms between September 15 and September 29. People who develop these symptoms should see a doctor, and ensure that they call the doctor’s office before going, so precautions can be taken to protect other patients. People with symptoms should also report their illness to VCH Public Health (604-675-3900).

Complications from the measles can include inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions (seizures), deafness, brain damage, and death. Infants under one year of age and adults who have other health concerns may have more severe complications.