Measles is most dangerous for young children. (Wikicommons media)

Measles outbreak in Washington state spurs warning from BC Centre for Disease Control

State of emergency declared by Washington state governor

The BC Centre for Disease Control has issued a warning to British Columbians after an outbreak of measles in Washington state led its governor to declare a state of emergency Friday.

There have been 32 confirmed cases in the state in January, according to Washington State Department of Health. The number and close proximity to B.C. has the provincial health authority urging B.C. residents to ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

Measles is highly infectious and spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well as respiratory secretions. Measles symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest. It is important to note people with measles can infect others prior to the onset of symptoms like fever and rash.

The best protection against measles is vaccination, says BCCDC.

RELATED: Fraser Health warning of possible measles exposure on BC Ferries

Travellers to the affected communities are at risk of exposure to measles. British Columbia typically experiences a few cases of measles each year, usually among under-vaccinated travellers returning from parts of the world where measles is still common.

In 2018, six cases of measles were reported among BC residents with two cases acquired during travel out of Canada and four acquired from imported cases.

The last large outbreaks of measles in B.C. were in 2014 and 2010.

RELATED: Measles warning issued for Vancouver music festival, restaurant, other locations

To date, no cases have been reported in B.C. related to the current Washington state outbreak.

The measles vaccine is available as a combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, and is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists.

Most people are immune to measles because they’ve had two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine or had the illness in the past. However, the health authority warns that individuals born between 1970 and 1994 or who grew up outside of British Columbia may have received only one dose and would require a second.

To find a public health unit anywhere in the province, see the site finder on ImmunizeBC.ca.


 

keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shuswap cabin owner hopes to improve B.C.-Alberta relations

Alberta resident redrafts response to CSRD request to stay home

Single-lane traffic on Highway 1 in Salmon Arm due to aging watermain

City says goodbye to cast-iron main while moving it off highway, into park

Snapshot: Distanced dancing in Salmon Arm

Friends use picnic shelter at Blackburn Park for safe practice

Okanagan film society screening for scholarships

North Okanagan students pursuing creative arts can apply for $2,000 bursaries

Douglas fir trees in Salmon Arm face attack from bark beetle

Online pamphlet can help residents learn how to protect their trees

Enderby’s drive-in not safe from top doc’s 50-car limit

Starlight Drive-In opened with reduced capacity, COVID-19 safety measures in place

Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Petition seeks to clean up Okanagan forests ‘carpeted’ with shotgun shells

Penticton man says making shot-gun shells refundable would create cleaner forests

Kelowna’s main drag will be closed to vehicles this summer

Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue will be a pedestrian-only roadway from June 29 through the Labour Day long weekend

Vernon gym knocked out by COVID-19

9Round Fitness in Vernon Square Mall owners announce permanent closure of facility

Kelowna’s Homebase Baseball Tournament cancelled

A live auction will still take place to raise funds for Joeanna’s House

Kelowna General Hospital Foundation launches fundraising initiative to support local health care

The initiative also highlights workers at Kelowna General Hospital

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Most Read