Measles case confirmed in Abbotsford

Fraser Health has issued another warning for residents to be on alert for the disease

  • Sep. 6, 2013 4:00 p.m.

Fraser Health issued a warning on Friday, alerting residents and health care professionals that several individuals in the region were recently diagnosed with measles, with one case in Abbotsford.

There are four confirmed cases in Abbotsford, Burnaby, Surrey and Chilliwack, and several more additional cases have symptoms consistent with measles.

Fraser Health stated that while most cases of measles come from travelers bringing measles back from another country, officials are concerned that most of these cases have no known exposure to measles. All cases were either not immunized, incompletely immunized, or did not know their immunization status, emphasizing the importance of being fully immunized.

The Fraser Health Authority is currently investigating the cause of the measles outbreak, to determine if the cases are linked.

In August, Fraser Health’s chief medical health officer warned about the rise in measles cases in the Fraser Valley.

At that time, about 60 women and newborns in a post-natal unit at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital has been exposed to the virus by a visitor in the early infectious stage.

Current guidelines for vaccination against measles are that people born after 1956 should have two doses of measles containing vaccine. The vaccine is available as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and usually given to children at the first birthday and then again at four to six years of age. Individuals are urged to contact their regular health care provider, their local health unit, or their pharmacist to receive the free vaccination.

Anyone who suspects they may have measles should immediately contact their doctor by telephone first, or call HealthLink BC at 811.  Physicians are reminded to immediately report suspected cases of measles to public health authorities.