February 13, 2019 9:02 pm

Vancouver Coastal Health confirms city’s second measles case this month

FILE - Measles, a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected.

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Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has confirmed a second case of measles in Vancouver this month.

Health officials say the second case was contracted locally, while the first case was contracted abroad.

VCH said that it has notified people who were in contact with the patient, and has “urged under-vaccinated or unvaccinated individuals among them to be immunized.”

It added that people among them who are not immune to measles are not permitted to attend school until the period of transmission has passed.

READ MORE: Health officials confirm measles case in Vancouver area

The health authority did not say where the virus was contracted or where the patient may have gone after contracting it.

The update comes after VCH confirmed the first measles case was diagnosed on Feb. 7.

It also follows an outbreak in Washington state last month that prompted Clark County to declare a state of public health emergency after more than 35 people were infected.

WATCH: (Aired Jan. 19, 2019) Measles outbreak leads to public health emergency in Washington state

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Measles symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed several days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

It can cause complications including pneumonia, inflammation of the brain, seizures, deafness, brain damage and death.

People who are infected with the disease can spread it before they are aware that they have been infected.

READ MORE: B.C. health officials warn about travel to U.S. areas affected by measles outbreak

“People are infectious to others from four days before to four days after the onset of rash,” said VCH in a media release.

People who have had two doses of the measles vaccine are immune 99 per cent of the time. VCH says most current cases involve people who were born after the 1970s, but have had no or just one dose of the vaccine.

Vaccines are available for free at community health centres or urgent primary care centres.

Anyone who believes they have the symptoms of measles should speak with their doctor, and should phone their clinic or doctor’s office before going in to allow them to take the proper precautions.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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