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.

Just Posted

WATCH: Candidates give closing statements at Oct. 15 BVCS All-Candidates debate

Five of eight candidates running federally for Skeena-Bulkley Valley were in attendance

Nearly 200 participate in Smithers 2019 annual Walk for Life

The walk is part of a number of annual walks across the globe that opposes abortion

Smithers Secondary School honours Antoinette Austin, Bill Goodacre in annual portrait project

Austin worked for a number of years as a teacher at Moricetown Elementary School (MES)

Telkwa talks about trees, upcoming events and enforcing bylaws

Council has directed village staff to enforce a bylaw against a noisy dog owner

WATCH: Sparks fly as two people speak out during Oct. 12 North Matters event in Smithers

The First-Nations led pro-LNG community celebration took place Oct. 12 at Bovill Square

VIDEO: #MeToo leader launches new hashtag to mobilize U.S. voters

Tarana Burke hopes to prompt moderators to ask about sexual violence at next debate

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Alberta to join B.C.’s class-action lawsuit against opioid manufacturers, distributors

B.C. government claims opioids were falsely marketed as less addictive than other pain meds

Most Read