Posts Tagged "Measles"


Global measles cases mean B.C. push for vaccination to continue: health minister

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VANCOUVER — British Columbia’s health minister says the number of children fully immunized against measles rose by 37,525 between April and June as part of a catch-up program.

Adrian Dix says a requirement for parents to report students’ immunization records in September is expected to further increase vaccination rates in a province that has seen 29 cases of the infectious disease this year.

Dix says up to 50,000 children begin kindergarten every year so the push for vaccination will continue as measles remains a public health issue, especially given that Washington state declared an emergency in January over a rising number of cases and rates of infection increased around the world.

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix

Nick Procaylo /


Dix says the number of vaccinations at doctors’ offices and pharmacists has also increased, with 1,220 people getting immunized by pharmacists between April and June, up from 21 during the same period last year.

He says more public education about measles led to a large number of students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 getting themselves immunized at over 1,000 clinics set up at schools.

Health authorities in B.C. also held over 3,500 public health clinics during the three-month catch-up period so people could get immunized.

“The big challenge is that there’s a tendency to respond to these things when they’re seen as crises and after the crisis ends you sort of take the foot off the gas and we don’t intend to do that,” Dix says. “By changing the way that we engage with people on immunization that’s going to continue.”

Two separate doses of the measles mumps and rubella vaccine are needed to provide immunity against the highly contagious airborne disease, the first dose at 12 months of age and the second usually between the ages of four and six.

Symptoms of the disease that was eradicated in Canada in 1998 include fever, cough, runny nose and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

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B.C. officials to review records to ensure students vaccinated against measles

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In this file photo taken on April 05, 2019 shows a nurse preparing the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine


The B.C. government says public health officials will start reviewing school enrolment records of kindergarten to Grade 12 students to ensure children are immunized against contagious diseases including measles.

The Health Ministry says officials will do their review between August and October and contact parents if their children are not up to date on the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.

It says most parents are already complying with the vaccination requirement so there is no need for them to do anything before their children begin classes in September, when it will be mandatory to report students’ immunization records.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the goal of the first year of the reporting requirement will be to get children caught up on vaccinations by the end of the school year.

He says a provincial catch-up vaccination program has seen 33,000 children immunized since April.

Dix says public health nurses have reported that more families who were initially hesitant are now choosing to immunize their kids.

“They’ve noticed more new and expecting parents take an active interest in their child’s vaccination schedule,” he says.

“It should be said that older students in Grades 10, 11 and 12 have been our most significant uptake in terms of immunization. Many or most of them had the opportunity to read immunization consent.”

The voluntary program was introduced after a measles outbreak in B.C. linked to two French schools in Vancouver.

Health authorities have already reviewed more than half a million students’ immunization records and parents or guardians of those with incomplete or missing records have been notified.

Measles spreads through virus-laden droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Infection with the measles virus starts with a high fever, coughing, sneezing and red eyes, followed by a blotchy, painful rash that starts on the face and spreads to cover the whole body.

The disease can lead to complications such as ear infections, blindness, pneumonia and encephalitis, which is a swelling of the brain, and can be fatal.

The first shot of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is given when children are a year old, and the second dose usually follows when they are about four to six years old.


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B.C. measles immunization program off to good start, figures likely to increase

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A province-wide program designed to help individuals catch-up on their measles immunizations is off to a good start.


A provincewide program designed to help individuals catch-up on their measles immunizations is off to a good start.

According to B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix, the program has offered 15,796 doses of measles-containing vaccine since its launch April 1 until May 30 to kids in kindergarten up to Grade 12.

A news release noted that figure was a preliminary total and is expected to increase when all records are collected from community pharmacists and care-providers.

During the first two months of the program:
• A total of 858 in-school clinics and 2,388 public health clinics were hosted throughout B.C.
• Immunization records for 566,106 students were reviewed.

Still another 230 in-school immunization clinics and more than 900 public health clinics are scheduled through the end of June.

The B.C. government expects to share details in the fall about how it will require students to report their immunization status.

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Possible measles exposure at Vancouver airport: health officials

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A measles patient.

A measles patient.

PNG files

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control is warning that travellers at Vancouver’s airport on Sunday may have been exposed to measles.

The centre says a passenger with the disease had a layover at Vancouver International Airport on June 9.

It warns passengers on an Air China flight from Beijing that arrived in Vancouver at 10:50 a.m. that day and those aboard an Air Canada flight to Regina that left at 2 p.m. may have been exposed.

The passenger went through Canada Customs and Immigration so the centre says people in the main terminal may also be vulnerable.

Measles is a highly infectious airborne disease and symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash that starts centrally and spreads to the limbs.

Passengers, crew and travellers who may have come into contact with measles are asked to check their immunization status.

The centre says if you become ill and suspect you have measles, call your doctor and inform them so they can arrange a visit in a way that avoids infecting others in the waiting room.

Dozens of people in British Columbia have been infected with measles this year, prompting health officials to emphasize the importance of immunizations.


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Another measles case confirmed in the Lower Mainland

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Measles vaccine.

Eric Risberg/AP file photo

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.

Transit-users cue to board the No. 323 Coast Mountain bus at the Surrey Central Exchange.

Ric Ernst /


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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BC to launch measles catch-up campaign with shots at schools, clinics

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Measles: Latest case located in Fraser Valley, linked to outbreak

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Two more measles cases in Vancouver, bringing total to 15 infections

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Two new cases of measles have been reported in Vancouver, bringing the total number of infections in the area to 15.

Vancouver Coastal Health said both new cases are related to the outbreak centred on two French-language schools.

It says both individuals had been receiving follow-up care as they were known to have been exposed to people with measles infections.

Of the 15 measles cases in the Vancouver area, 12 are related to the school outbreak that began when one child acquired the disease while travelling in Asia.

The health authority says the three other cases are unrelated to the school outbreak and were acquired while the people were travelling.

The authority says it’s possible that more cases might occur in people who were previously exposed, since the incubation period for measles is 21 days.

A nurse prepares a combined vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella

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Luke Hendry/Belleville Intellige

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Vancouver measles outbreak: Unlikely to spread but everyone should be vaccinated

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