Another case of measles has been confirmed on southern Vancouver Island.
Island Health said Wednesday it has confirmed one new case of measles and the case did not appear to be related to the previous five cases on Vancouver Island. This is the third case confirmed within a week and has brought the total number of recent infections to six.
Island Health said there are two locations where people may have been exposed to the virus if they visited or passed through the building common spaces, including washrooms:
- March 26 between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Oak shopping centre complex, Pennbridge building at 4475 Viewmont Avenue
- March 27 between 8:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Oak shopping centre complex, Pennbridge building at 4475 Viewmont Avenue
Island Health said people who may have been exposed to the measles should monitor for symptoms for 21 days after the exposure date. Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, diarrhea and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.
Anyone who develops symptoms should contact their health care provider before visiting so they can take precautions to prevent transmission of measles to others.
Island Health said people born after 1970 and have never had the measles infection or who did not have two doses of the vaccine are at the highest risk of measles. Island Health is encouraging those people to get fully immunized as the measles immunization is free for everyone.
According to Island Health, two doses of measles vaccine are 99 per cent effective at preventing measles. One dose of vaccine is 95 per cent effective. Rarely, those who are fully immunized can get measles but they often have a milder illness and are less infectious to others.
MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccines are available at local health units, family doctor offices and at many pharmacies.
All health units in Island Health are currently offering additional booked school age immunization appointments. These clinics are scheduled during regular clinic hours, after hours and Saturdays. This comes before mandatory reporting of vaccination status for school children takes effect in September.
The south Island, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Public Health Units are prioritizing immunizations for children. Island Health is also planning in-school or after school immunization clinics for children from kindergarten to grade 12 who are under/unimmunized for measles.
Anyone 19 or older is asked to call their local pharmacy, family doctor or travel clinic. Pharmacists can immunize adults and children over five years old.
Island Health said in the past five weeks, they have administered more than 3,500 measles vaccinations, which is more than double the previous year. Island Health is also offering to catch up all vaccines that the client is behind on at the appointment.
More information on measles immunization services can be found by calling:
South Island: 250-544-7676 ext. 27545
Courtenay/Comox Valley: 250-331-8599
Campbell River and area: 250-850-2120
Mt. Waddington/Port Hardy: 250-902-6079
Correction: A previous version of the article stated this was the third case of measles confirmed since Monday. It is actually the third case confirmed since Saturday. CHEK News regrets the error.