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No confirmed measles cases in Interior Health as Vancouver, Washington state see outbreaks

A doctor's assistant prepares a measles vaccination.
A doctor's assistant prepares a measles vaccination. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/dpa, Lukas Schulze

So far B.C.’s Interior Health region appears to have avoided the measles outbreaks that have cropped up in Washington state and the Lower Mainland.

The health authority announced on social media Saturday that there have been no confirmed measles cases in Interior Health Authority area.

WATCH: Vancouver grapples with measles outbreak

Vancouver grapples with measles outbreak
Vancouver grapples with measles outbreak

It’s a different story in the Lower Mainland, with cases reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Fraser Health Authority this year.

On Friday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control said the nine confirmed cases this year have included connected outbreaks at Vancouver schools and two cases linked to adults returning from overseas trips.

Meanwhile, Washington state is reporting 60 confirmed cases as of Saturday afternoon. Almost three quarters of confirmed cases in Washington state involve kids under the age of 10.

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At least 52 of the 60 patients in Washington with confirmed measles cases were not immunized.

READ MORE: ‘Even healthy kids [could] die’: Measles outbreak prompts vaccine plea from mom of transplant recipient

So far, health officials in B.C. have not seen any link between the U.S. outbreak and the cases in the Lower Mainland.

Interior Health said it is watching the situation in the Lower Mainland and is emphasizing that immunization is the best way to protect yourself from the contagious virus.

In B.C., children typically receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The first dose is administered when they are 12 months old and the second when they are between four and six years old.

READ MORE: Vancouver measles outbreak puts spotlight on low vaccination rates at many local schools

Interior Health said, in 2018, 86.9 per cent of two-year-olds in the region were up-to-date on their measles vaccination while only 69.3 per cent of seven-year-olds were up-to-date.

The Okanagan lagged behind the health region average. 86 per cent of Okanagan two-year-olds and 65.9 per cent of seven-year-olds had up-to-date vaccinations for measles.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said if you think you have measles, call ahead to your doctor so they can see you in a way that doesn’t risk spreading the virus to others waiting to for medical treatment.

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Symptoms of the virus include a rash, red eyes, runny nose, cough and fever.