Measles case confirmed in Vancouver; not linked to Washington outbreak

Henrietta Strickland
February 11, 2019

Health workers administer house-to-house measles vaccination to children in Payatas, Quezon City on February 7, 2019, amid measles outbreak in parts of the Philippines.

Vancouver Coastal Health has confirmed that a patient in the agency's service area was diagnosed with measles earlier this week.

Carrie Stefanson with the health authority says there's no reason to issue a public alert, although health officials do contact places an infected person has been if they are still contagious. Typically, measles patients can be treated at home, rather than in hospitals, Hussain said.

The report comes as both Canada and the United States face another year of measles outbreaks such as one now underway in Washington State and OR, where support for anti-vaccination has been notable.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the call as he assured the public that the government will "properly implement" Republic Act (RA) 10152 or the Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011. Four more cases have been confirmed in Oregon. Complications can include inflammation of the brain, convulsions, deafness, brain damage and death. The virus can survive for up to two hours in a room where an infected person sneezed.

More than 82,000 people in Europe contracted the virus, which killed 72 people.

People born before 1994 or who grew up outside of B.C. may need a second dose. "This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus", says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Director of the WHO's Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen.

Vancouver Coastal Health recommends vaccinations. People born before 1970 are likely immune; but if they aren't sure whether they have had the infection, they can safely get the MMR vaccine.

Across Canada, only a single new case of laboratory-confirmed measles was reported between December 30, 2018, and January 26, 2019, according to Health Canada's most recent measles and rubella monitoring reports.

"Progress has been uneven between and within countries, leaving increasing clusters of susceptible individuals unprotected, and resulting in a record number of people affected by the virus in 2018", the report states.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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