There are four confirmed measles cases in the Fraser Health region, including Burnaby, and the health authority is warning the public to get vaccinated.
Not only are there four cases, but there are several other cases with symptoms consistent with measles too, according to the Fraser Health Authority. The cases are in Burnaby, Surrey, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.
“While most cases of measles occur from travelers bringing measles back from another country, of concern is that most of these cases have no known exposure to measles,” the press release states. “All cases were either unimmunized, incompletely immunized, or did not know their immunization status, emphasizing the importance of being fully immunized.”
The health authority is currently investigating the cause of the measles outbreak, and whether or not the cases are somehow linked.
The health authority asks anyone who suspects they might have the measles to call their doctor immediately, or HealthLink B.C. at 811.
Vaccination guidelines against measles state that people born after 1956 should have two doses of measles containing vaccine.
Measles is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus. It is very contagious and spreads easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. It can survive in the air for several hours.
Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red inflamed eyes, which are often sensitive to light. These symptoms are followed by a rash – starting on the face and neck, and spreads to the chest, arms and legs – that lasts at least three days.
Serious complications can come from having measles, including brain inflammation, pneumonia, blindness and deafness. About one in every 3,000 cases has been fatal.
For more information on measles, visit www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile14b.stm.
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