WATCH: Island Health is investigating after five cases of measles were confirmed on Vancouver Island.
Island Health is investigating after five cases of measles were confirmed on Vancouver Island.
The investigation involves testing the strains to see where they came from as well as interviewing patients.
Medical Health Officer Dr. Dee Hoyano says the affected patients did not travel abroad, and there’s also no evidence the cases are connected to the recent high-profile case in Vancouver, where a family did not get their children vaccinated over concerns about autism.
“Generally speaking, in Canada, we don’t have a lot of circulating measles activity,” Dr. Hoyano said. “We have very low measles that’s going around in our communities. So, the majority of cases that we see in Canada typically are linked to international travel.”
This is happening amid a worldwide increase in cases.
In Canada, there have been 28 cases as of late March in Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and B.C.
In the U.S., 465 cases have been confirmed in 19 states as of last Thursday.
Dr. Hoyano says there have also been cases in Europe and Asia.
“In some places, it is because there has been a breakdown in the ability of health systems of immunize their populations. And then in other places, we have seen outbreaks occur in populations that are under-immunized,” she said.
People are being urged to check to their immunization records.
Dr. Hoyano says it is still safe to get the vaccine again, even if someone has been vaccinated before, in the case they aren’t sure and can’t find their old records.