Measles outbreak reported in a school in Chilliwack: Fraser Health

Measles vaccine. File / Global News

Two confirmed cases of measles have been reported in a school in Chilliwack, which has prompted a warning to residents living in Fraser Valley East, according to the Fraser Health Authority.

Along with treating two confirmed cases of the highly contagious virus, Fraser Health is also following up on dozens of linked suspected cases.

Public Health staff are contacting affected families directly to offer vaccines in order to reduce the chance of the infection spreading. The health authority’s main concern involves students and families that are travelling for the upcoming spring break.

Fraser Health is advising anyone who may have been exposed to the virus to refrain from travelling until they’ve been cleared by Public Health.

According to the health authority, low immunization rates in parts of Fraser Valley East, which consists of Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope, have led to several clusters of the virus in previous years. The most recent outbreak occurred in the fall of 2013.

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The most effective protection against the virus is two doses of the vaccine, which is free to all those born in or after 1957.  Residents are encouraged to contact their regular health provider to receive the vaccination.

The Fraser Health Authority said anyone who believes they have been exposed or have developed symptoms, to go see their medical practitioner.

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