Fraser Health announced on Wednesday that there has been a case of measles in its coverage area linked to the Vancouver outbreak.
Yet Fraser Health has sent letters out on Thursday through the school districts in its coverage area saying the known cases are confined to Vancouver.
“A total of nine cases of confirmed measles have been identified in Vancouver Coastal with a confirmed case related to this outbreak in Fraser Health. Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health are working to identify and provide public health follow-up to any individuals who may have been exposed,” Fraser Health said on its website.
The health authority is dealing with a deluge of inquiries and questions about measles and vaccinations.
The local health authority said in the letter sent through school districts that the nine confirmed measles cases have shown up in three schools in Vancouver and had not appeared elsewhere.
“There is no evidence of measles transmission into the wider Vancouver or Fraser Health community,” the letter to schools said.
Black Press Media is awaiting information from Fraser Health on the case within its coverage area and about the contradictory information.
— Langley Schools (@LangleySchools) February 22, 2019
The health authority recommends people look into their vaccination records and that two vaccinations provide up to 99 per cent protection.
People should be calling 811 with questions about the illness, the health authority said.
People who suspects measles in their kids or themselves are asked to isolate the person as quickly as possible and notify their nearest public health department.
Symptoms of Measles
The clinical presentation of measles is a two to four day prodrome of fever, coryza, conjunctivitis and Koplik spots followed by a maculopapular rash that begins on the face and then becomes generalized. The infectious period may precede the onset of prodromal symptoms by one to two days and continues until four days after onset of rash.
Infection Control for Suspected Measles
All patients presenting with symptoms of measles (e.g., a fever and rash) should be masked immediately and placed on isolation precautions as quickly as possible. Patients with suspected measles should be placed under Airborne Precautions (and droplet precautions if airborne precautions are not available).
Measles transmission can occur up to two hours after a measles infected person has left the room. Therefore the clinic room used to assess a patient with suspect measles should not be used for two hours after the patient with suspect measles leaves the room.
Advise patients to wear a mask upon leaving the clinic and/or if they present to any other healthcare facility, such as a laboratory, emergency department or other clinic.
Testing for Measles
Please collect an NP swab and urine for PCR virus isolation, and blood for serologic testing (measles IgG and IgM). Specimens should be sent directly to the Provincial Laboratory.
Reporting to Public Health
Physicians who suspect measles should call their local Public Health Unit while the patient is still present to initiate immediate public health follow-up, appropriate isolation and testing.
After office hours, please call 604-527-4806, and ask for the Medical Health Officer on-call.