Measles confirmed in general population

Chilliwack's measles outbreak has spread to the general population; special vaccination clinics being organized.

Chilliwack's measles outbreak has spread to the general population; special vaccination clinics being organized.

Fraser Health is advising that measles cases have moved outside of the previous school and religious group areas and now appear to be occurring in the general communities of Chilliwack and Agassiz.

Fraser Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Van Buynder has confirmed one child has been admitted to hospital to date.

He reminds all residents of Fraser East that the best protection against measles infection remains two doses of measles vaccine.

Arrangements are being made to distribute increased measles vaccine to general practitioners and pharmacies in the Fraser East region (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope).

Fraser Health is requesting that older children and adults requiring immunization access the vaccine through one of these health care providers.

Children under the age of 5 years are most at risk of serious disease and need to obtain the vaccine from a general practitioner or a public health clinic.

Special vaccination clinics in Chilliwack and Agassiz are being organized for early next week and announcements regarding their availability will be made on the Fraser Health website.

People with symptoms of measles are asked to isolate themselves at home.   Anyone that is seriously ill is asked to contact their general practitioner, public health unit, or emergency department prior to arriving in order to prevent the spread of the disease to other vulnerable patients.

“It is not necessary to attend a medical centre for testing to confirm measles during an outbreak unless you are quite sick,” said Dr. Van Buynder.  “We know there is measles circulating and laboratory confirmation is not necessary.  However, if you are seriously ill, please see a doctor after warning them you are coming.”

For further information about measles, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.