The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a statement Tuesday aimed at reminding Canadians that measles is a serious and highly contagious disease and that getting vaccinated is the best protection.
The statement comes in response to an outbreak of nine cases of measles in Vancouver that began after an unvaccinated Canadian child contracted the disease on a family trip to Vietnam.
“Due to the recent reports of measles, the Public Health Agency of Canada would like to remind Canadians that measles is a serious and highly contagious disease,” the statement read.
“Two-doses of a measles containing vaccine is the best protection against the disease. Two doses are almost 100% effective in preventing the disease. ”
Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash. The infection can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis and can be fatal.
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The agency is urging Canadians to ensure their immunizations are up to date, especially if they are travelling outside the country.
People who cannot be vaccinated, including infants, people with certain underlying health conditions and those undergoing chemotherapy, rely on high levels of immunity within communities to protect them from the disease.