Measles outbreak alarms minister

Terry Lake says he hasn't considered making vaccinations mandatory, health officials warn parents about travel during spring break

  • Mar. 10, 2014 12:00 p.m.

Health Minister Terry Lake

Health Minister Terry Lake said his ministry is watching closely as Fraser Health deals with a potential outbreak of measles, which appears linked to a lack of routine vaccinations in school-aged children.

Lake said he has not yet considered making vaccinations mandatory for school-aged children, as other provinces have, despite some schools in the Fraser Valley reporting no vaccinations at all.

“At this time we’re not going down that road, but we certainly want the public to be very aware of the importance of vaccination, and get the rates back up where they should be,” Lake said.

Fraser Health has confirmed two cases and about 100 suspected cases in the Eastern Fraser Valley. Officials wouldn’t identify the school Monday, except to say it is in a Chilliwack community with a history of low immunization rates.

Officials asked anyone who believes they are exposed to measles to contact their doctor before arriving at a medical facility.

“We are urging individuals who may have been exposed to the virus to contact their local Public Health Unit to be cleared before travelling during spring break,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, chief medical officer for Fraser Health.

The measles warning applies to Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope.

 

Just Posted

Kelowna classroom where child allegedly overdosed re-opens after cleaning

An 8-year-old was unresponsive and unable to walk after ingesting an unknown substance at school.

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Friends and family gather for Parkinson SuperWalk in Salmon Arm

Word on the street: How has Parkinson’s Disease affected you or your family?

Vote online to help light up the Larch Hills

Larch Hills Nordic Society competing for Kraft Heinz Project Play funding

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

One teen was killed and five people injured in the shooting

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read