Measles is most dangerous for young children. (Wikicommons media)

Measles outbreak in Washington state spurs warning from BC Centre for Disease Control

State of emergency declared by Washington state governor

The BC Centre for Disease Control has issued a warning to British Columbians after an outbreak of measles in Washington state led its governor to declare a state of emergency Friday.

There have been 32 confirmed cases in the state in January, according to Washington State Department of Health. The number and close proximity to B.C. has the provincial health authority urging B.C. residents to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

Measles is highly infectious and spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as respiratory secretions. Measles symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest. It is important to note people with measles can infect others prior to the onset of symptoms like fever and rash.

The best protection against measles is vaccination, says BCCDC.

RELATED: Fraser Health warning of possible measles exposure on BC Ferries

Travellers to the affected communities are at risk of exposure to measles. British Columbia typically experiences a few cases of measles each year, usually among under-vaccinated travellers returning from parts of the world where measles is still common.

In 2018, six cases of measles were reported among BC residents with two cases acquired during travel out of Canada and four acquired from imported cases.

The last large outbreaks of measles in B.C. were in 2014 and 2010.

RELATED: Measles warning issued for Vancouver music festival, restaurant, other locations

To date, no cases have been reported in B.C. related to the current Washington state outbreak.

The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists.

Most people are immune to measles because they’ve had two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine or had the illness in the past. However, the health authority warns that individuals born between 1970 and 1994 or who grew up outside of British Columbia may have received only one dose and would require a second.

To find a public health unit anywhere in the province, see the site finder on ImmunizeBC.ca.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mounties collar suspect after shots ring out in Maple Ridge

Weekend incident on 227th Street leads police to Surrey for one arrest and gathering of evidence

‘Just getting to know Maple Ridge’: local resident discovers historical markers

Belle Morse Park was named after the former mayor who also served as a city councillor

Guard dog trainer looks to take over part of tree farm

An unused horse arena and gravel area on Green Road property proposed for alternate use

Council ponders next steps for Pitt Meadows Official Community Plan

Revising a blueprint for how to keep growing and developing the city has been stalled by COVID

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

Thanks for helping The News to continue its mission to provide trusted local news

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Eight people arrested in Victoria homeless camp after enforcement order issued

Those living in tents were given until May 20 to move indoors

Most Read