Measles outbreak: The contagious virus has reached Burnaby

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Surrey/ Burnaby: Fraser Health has identified new cases of measles in last one week. There are 80-100 cases of measles covering Fraser East and on Mar 15 a new case at BCIT campus was reported. Everyone who was present on the campus on March 6 and 7 has been informed that they might have come into direct contact with the particular individual who has measles. Students who attended classes in building NE1 at the Burnaby BCIT campus on March 6 or 7 can return to school on March 17, 2014 if they have two documented doses of MMR vaccine, if they are born before 1970 or if they have had measles illness in the past.
Fraser health says the risk to the general BCIT student population is low, as most of the population is in the age group that would have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine.
Individuals who have had two doses of measles-containing vaccine do not need to have any further vaccine. For adults and children over the age of 5, measles vaccine can be obtained through your doctor or pharmacy.
“Measles is a very contagious disease. Those who aren’t vaccinated can spread the disease quickly. If you are showing measles-like symptoms, stay home and call your doctor or 811,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, Chief Medical Health Officer with Fraser Health.
Fraser Health is advising that measles cases now appear to be occurring in the general communities of Chilliwack and Agassiz; outside of the previous school and religious group areas.
The health authority has confirmed one child has been admitted to hospital to date. Arrangements are being made to distribute increased measles vaccine to general practitioners and pharmacies in the Fraser East region (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope). It is requesting that older children and adults requiring immunization access the vaccine through one of these health care providers.
“It is not necessary to attend a medical centre for testing to confirm measles during an outbreak unless you are quite sick. We know there is measles circulating and laboratory confirmation is not necessary. However, if you are seriously ill, please see a doctor after warning them you are coming,” says Dr. Paul Van Buynder.
Symptoms of measles include: Fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes (often sensitive to light). These are followed 3-7 days later by a rash, which starts first on the face and neck, and spreads to the chest, arms and legs, and lasts at least 3 days. You may also notice spots inside your mouth that look like small grains of sand on a red base.