WATCH: Dr. Dee Hoyano, Island Health’s Medical Health Officer, has confirmed two new cases of a measles infection on the South Island. Island Health is asking people who may have been exposed to measles to 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.
As two new cases of measles have been confirmed in Victoria, the parents of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy say got a frightening call from the hospital saying he’d been exposed to the virus after being there for treatment for a broken arm.
“Sawyer got his cast on, everything was fine and then five days later we get a call from the hospital saying that our son had been exposed to measles and he had to go get another injection,” said Scott Miller.
As a child, he’s already had his first vaccination for measles and wasn’t due for his second until he was five years old. One dose is usually 95 per cent effective. Now his parents are angry that Sawyer would have been exposed to the measles virus at all.
“Well, he was already vaccinated before up to this point and he was in the hospital being treated for something completely different and now because some parent didn’t feel like vaccinating their kids now he’s at risk because he’s too little to have been vaccinated this far,” said Scott Miller.
“You know I’m all for free choice as long as it’s not harming or hurting anybody,” added Sawyer’s mother Olivia Miller. “That’s the thing, I know people are against vaccines but when it comes to someone who is unable to make that choice yet or be able to get it, it really causes harm to others and others around them.”
Island Health says anyone born after 1970 may be at risk if they were exposed to the measles virus at the following locations on the specific dates.
March 27, 2019 1:30 pm to 6:20 pm Camosun College Lansdowne Campus: Young Building
March 27, 2019 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Camosun College Lansdowne Campus: Bookstore in Fisher Building
March 27, 2019 Afternoon to Early Evening Transit Buses #27 and/or #28
March 29, 2019 9:30 am to 1:00 pm Victoria Health Unit: 1947 Cook Street
March 30, 2019 9:00 am to 7:00 pm London Drugs: 911 Yates Street
March 30, 2019 Late Afternoon to Early Evening Transit Buses #27 and/or #28
March 31, 2019 9:30 am to 3:00 pm London Drugs: 911 Yates Street
March 31, 2019 Morning and Afternoon Transit Buses #27 and/or #28
April 2, 2019 10:00 am to 3:30 pm Royal Oak Medical Clinic: 4442 W. Saanich Road
April 2, 2019 1:30 pm to 5 pm LifeLabs: 1641 Hillside Avenue
April 2, 2019 1:30 pm to 5:00 pm West Coast Medical Imaging: 1641 Hillside Avenue
April 3, 2019 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm Royal Oak Medical Clinic: 4442 W. Saanich Road
April 3, 2019 2:50 pm to 5:30 pm LifeLabs: 4480 West Saanich Road
Island Health says the source of the latest cases of measles is under investigation but at this point do not appear to be related to the two previous cases, confirmed last week.
Island Health says 3500 measles vaccinations have been given in the past five weeks, double the number from last year.
If you develop symptoms, Island Health advises you contact your health care provider before you visit them so they can take precautions to prevent transmission of measles to others. Those who never had the measles infection, or who did not have two doses of vaccine, are at highest risk of measles, and Island Health encourages them to get fully immunized.
Measles immunization is free for everyone.
You can call 8-1-1 for information at any time or visit www.healthlinkbc.ca or www.immunizebc.ca/measles.
You can also call the measles information line for services in your area:
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
For the Millers, it’s now a matter of waiting to see if Sawyer develops symptoms.
“The nurse told us that anytime between now and two weeks from now he could develop a measles-like rash on his chest and if it’s just that then that will be ok but it could come with other symptoms like a headache, fever, runny nose, coughing, vomiting and if that happens we have to take him to the emergency room.”