Health officials confirm measles case in Vancouver area
Health officials have confirmed a case of measles in the Vancouver area.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) spokesperson Shaf Hussain said a resident of the VCH health region was diagnosed on Feb. 7, and that the Medical Health Officer’s office was notified on Feb. 8.
Hussain said he believes the risk to the public is low, but could not confirm that the patient was not infectious.
“If the person was infectious there may have been a risk to the public, but I believe the infection period had lapsed. Usually, a rash appears when you have measles. You’re infectious four days before or four days after the rash,” he said.
“We don’t know where the person has been. But in general, if the person is infectious and the person is out in the public, yes.”
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Hussain could not speak to where the patient may have contracted measles, citing privacy.
He said most people in B.C., especially those born after 1970 are already immunized against the disease.
However, he said anyone who believes they are showing symptoms of measles should contact their doctor right away.
“If they suspect they have measles they’re asked to call ahead if they’re going to a walk-in clinic or physician’s office, so proper precautions can be taken by that office and to protect anybody who may be there,” he said.
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Symptoms of measles include fever, red eyes, a cough, a runny nose and a rash. You can learn more about measles here.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) issued a warning late last month to Canadian travellers heading to certain parts of the United States, citing a risk of contracting the disease.
The warning pointed to an outbreak of measles in Washington state’s Clark County, just outside of Portland where more than 35 people had contracted the disease since Jan. 1. The county declared a state public health emergency in response.
Most of those patients were under 10 years old, and at least one was hospitalized.
Last September, Vancouver Coastal Health issued a bulletin warning about possible measles exposure after a potentially contagious person visited multiple cafes and restaurants, along with the Skookum festival.
-With files from Srushti Gangdev
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