Measles vaccine encouraged

Outbreak in Lower Mainland could spread as families travel for spring break

An outbreak of measles is occurring in the Fraser Valley Health Unit, confined mostly to the Chilliwack Aggasiz areas, although there has also been a case confirmed in Burnaby. Both Chilliwack and Agassiz have low rates of measles immunization.

Medical Health Officer for Interior Health, Dr. Sue Pollock, says that there are currently no cases reported in the Interior Health region, but that may change.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see it spread,” Dr. Pollock said. “It’s spring break and kids are travelling throughout the province with their families.”

There is an effective vaccine for measles — about 88 per cent of kindergarten age children in the IH area are immunized. Recent outbreaks in Alberta, and in the Fraser Valley, are being seen in the unvaccinated population.

“There is local variability,” Dr. Pollock said. “Some areas in Interior Health are above 90 per cent immunized and some are less than 80 per cent.”

Dr. Pollock says there are three main reasons why some parents do not immunize their children. One, parents may object on religious or philosophical grounds; 2, parents may doubt the safety of the vaccine; or 3, they just haven’t got around to it.

“It is a two-dose vaccine series,” she said. “We encourage people to check their own and their children’s immunization records to make sure that both shots were received.”

IH advises everyone born since 1970 should be vaccinated. People born prior to that date were likely exposed to measles or had them.

You can call your local health unit to make an appointment for a measles vaccine. In Kimberley, that’s 250-427-2215, in Cranbrook, 250-420-2207

“We will certainly accommodate anyone looking to get their vaccine up to date,” Dr. Pollock said.

Measles can cause encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain, which can lead to seizures, deafness or brain damage. Measles are highly contagious.

Early symptoms are fever, cough, runny nose and red, inflamed eyes that are sensitive to light.

A red blotchy rash appears three to seven days after fever starts, beginning behind the ears and on the face and spreading down to the body and then to the arms and legs. It can also present with white spots in the mouth.

If you suspect that you or anyone in your family is ill with the measles, call the ER or doctor ahead of time to avoid exposing others.

 

Just Posted

The Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group is active again after a few years off and are working to find a home for Gloria in Kimberley. Photo taken at a KRRG fundraiser several years ago. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group active once more

KRRG working to find a refugee a safe place to live in Kimberley

The Kimberley Aquatic Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public on July 6, after being shut down due to the pandemic in March, 2020. The Centre will be initially operating with reduced occupancy and limited program offerings. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Aquatic Centre set to re-open July 6

New safety infrastructure, limited guests and programming allow facility to open again

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

Most Read