B.C. records first case of measles since 2019, vaccinations urged

Click to play video: 'Health officials warn about surge of measles cases in B.C.'
Health officials warn about surge of measles cases in B.C.
British Columbia has a confirmed case of measles for the first time in five years. It's the beginning of what health officials believe will be more cases to come as people travel and aren't staying up to date on their vaccinations, whether intentional or not. Kylie Stanton reports. – Mar 4, 2024

B.C. has reported its first case of measles of 2024 and health officials are urging everyone to get vaccinated against the virus.

The last time B.C. recorded a case was in 2019.

Vancouver Coastal Health warned Richmond residents and visitors about a series of potential exposures to a case of measles acquired from outside Canada that resulted in exposure between Feb. 24 and March 2 at two locations.

Those include the Vancouver Airport Hotel at 7188 Westminster Highway and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 26 at the ICBC location at 5300 No. 3 Road in Richmond.

At least nine cases of measles have been reported in Canada in 2024 outside of B.C. as of Feb. 29. Most of these cases were in people who were not immunized or not fully immunized, and who travelled to countries where measles is spreading, the B.C. government reported. There were 12 cases reported in 2023.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: 'Spring travel could bring measles outbreak, Canada’s top doctor says'
Spring travel could bring measles outbreak, Canada’s top doctor says

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a 79 per cent increase in global measles cases in 2023, compared with 2022.

The latest health and medical news emailed to you every Sunday.

The measles vaccine is given in two doses in B.C. — the first one on a child’s first birthday and the second around the time of starting school.

Health officials are also warning about spring break travel and urge everyone to make sure vaccinations are up to date before travelling.

Vaccine appointments can be booked through local public health units, community health centres or nursing stations.

Measles is highly contagious and can spread through the air.

Health officials said people can pass it to others before they even show any symptoms and the virus can stay suspended in the air for several hours.

Story continues below advertisement

It can spread quickly in school settings and following a single case of measles in a school, children who are not immunized or not fully immunized are offered a vaccine or excluded from school, according to direction from B.C. health officials.

Click to play video: 'What Canadians can do if measles is reported in your city'
What Canadians can do if measles is reported in your city

Health authorities are offering vaccine opportunities in advance of spring break. Learn more about clinics or where to call for more information in your region:

Sponsored content