Another case of measles has been confirmed in the Lower Mainland, bringing the total number of cases in B.C. to 22, according to the Fraser Health Authority.
Dr. Shovita Padhi, a medical officer with Fraser Health, said the new case is unrelated to an outbreak in Vancouver earlier this year, and was acquired abroad.
Padhi wouldn’t specify where the person was infected, but said with measles cases rising dramatically across the globe, it’s crucial anyone travelling outside Canada ensures they have had two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR).
The person used public transit March 27, while they were infectious, and an investigation determined when and where people may have been exposed:
• The No. 323 bus between 8 and 11 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m.
• The Expo Line between 8 and 11 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m.
• Lobby and elevators at 666 Burrard St. in Vancouver and the Ascenda School of Management, at the same location, between 8:55 a.m. and 2:05 p.m.
The 323 bus travels between Newton Exchange and Surrey Central Station.
Padhi urges anyone who may have been exposed to keep an eye out for symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash that first develops at the hairline. If they seek medical attention, they should call their doctor’s office first to avoid exposing other people, she added.
Padhi said immunization in the Fraser Health region has improved this year, with public-health units administering 5,768 MMR vaccines since mid-February this year, compared with 2,882 of the vaccines during the same period in 2018.
Two cases of measles were reported by Island Health on March 29 and Interior Health issued two bulletins about possible public exposures in the area of 100 Mile House on March 9 and 22, according to the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. Another case was confirmed in the Fraser Valley earlier in March.
Twelve of the 15 cases in Vancouver have been directly linked to an outbreak that began at École Secondaire Jules-Verne and École Rose-Des-Vents, after a student contracted the disease during an overseas family trip. The remaining three cases were acquired while travelling, but not linked to the school outbreak.
Last month, Health Minister Adrian Dix announced $3 million in additional funding for the measles vaccine and a campaign to encourage immunization through the schools, health authorities and media.
-With files from Stephanie Ip and Vaughn Palmer
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