Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

After Vancouver outbreak, no measles cases in Interior Health yet

After Vancouver outbreak, no measles cases in Interior Health yet

In rare cases, it can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, blindness, deafness, and even death.

So far, nine cases of measles have been confirmed at the two French-language schools in Vancouver, a cluster that began after an unvaccinated B.C. child contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam, where the highly contagious disease is endemic.

Measles is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person or through the air when the infected person coughs or sneezes.

Since that time, multiple large and high-quality studies have been conducted that demonstrate there is not an association between autism and MMR vaccine.

The Bahamas, has not had a case of measles since 1997, according to the ministry, which said the country has been certified as measles free.

The two bills come amid an outbreak that has sickened at least 64 people in the state - all but one in Clark County - leading Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency. People are contagious for about five days before symptoms develop and then it presents like a flu before it develops into a rash.

"And many are making a different decision, which is to protect themselves and also, in many cases, that means protecting the people around them, because not everyone can receive the vaccine".

Unvaccinated children aged 5 and below are at highest risk of the disease, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo earlier said.

A 1998 United Kingdom study that suggested the MMR vaccine was linked to autism in children has always been discredited, but still influences people in choosing not to vaccinate.

Most of the 64 people sick were unvaccinated, something that's now being addressed in the state Legislature with a bill that would remove personal exemptions for parents vaccinating children.

In wake of this data and recent events, a petition entitled Mandatory Vaccines in BC (with medical exemptions) was posted on change.org.

The latest figure is 2,000 cases higher than the DOH's last measles surveillance on February 18.

What do I do if I think I have measles?

There is a number of individuals who are not open to the messages that we have to say because they're very set in their ways.

California removed personal belief vaccine exemptions for children in both public and private schools in 2015 after a measles outbreak at Disneyland sickened 147 people and spread across the USA and into Canada.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages vaccination before traveling internationally", said Dr. Having high vaccination coverage in schools protects not just the child, but also protects against outbreaks of disease, and can protect children who are unable to get vaccinated for medical reasons from being exposed to vaccine-preventable diseases.

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