New potential measles exposures on the South Island Victoria – Island Health is investigating a suspected case of measles on the South Island and is alerting individuals that they may have been exposed to measles at the following locations: Victoria Butterfly Gardens, 1461 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, April 10, 2019 between 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Walmart Supercentre, Uptown Shopping Centre, 3460 Saanich Road, Saanich, April 11, 2019 between 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Walmart Supercentre, Uptown Shopping Centre, 3460 Saanich Road, Saanich, April 12, 2019 between 2:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Individuals who were at these locations during the specified dates and time are asked to monitor symptoms for 21 days after the exposure date. Those who are born after 1970 and have never had the measles infection, or who did not have two doses of vaccine are at highest risk of measles, and Island Health encourages them to get fully immunized. These individuals should contact their local public health unit, family doctor, pharmacy or local travel clinic regarding immunization. Measles immunization is free for everyone. Island Health is contacting families at Selkirk Montessori School advising that they may have been exposed to measles during the week of April 8-12, 2019. We are asking families of children who have not received any MMR or measles containing vaccine to contact the Island Health Communicable Disease unit at 250-388-2225 as soon as possible for additional guidance if they have not already been contacted. Island Health Medical Health Officer, Dr. Dee Hoyano, has instructed unvaccinated children at Selkirk Montessori School to not attend school beginning today, April 15, 2019 and that they not attend any congregated settings until after May 3, 2019. The reason for this is to prevent further transmission of measles, as symptoms of measles infection can take up to 21 days to appear, it is highly contagious, and people can transmit the disease before clear symptoms occur. We appreciate everybody’s cooperation in making every effort they can to protect their community.
Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, diarrhea and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.
If you develop symptoms, please contact your health care provider before you visit them so they can take precautions to prevent transmission of measles to others.
Call our measles information line for services in your area:
South Island: 250-544-7676 ext. 27545
Courtenay/Comox Valley: 250-331-8599
Campbell River and area: 250-850-2120
Mt. Waddington/Port Hardy: 250-902-6079
For other public health locations or if you have questions, please contact a Public Health Unit.
Please visit the Island Health website for current information: http://bit.ly/measlesupdates.
Two doses of measles vaccine are 99 per cent effective at preventing measles. One dose of vaccine is 95 per cent effective. Rarely, those who are fully immunized can get measles but they often have milder illness, and are less infectious to others.
Free vaccine is available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists. All Health Units in Island Health are currently offering additional booked school age immunization appointments. These clinics are scheduled during regular clinic hours, after hours and Saturdays.
South Island, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Public Health Units are prioritizing immunizations for children. For clients aged 19 and older, please contact your local pharmacy, family doctor or travel clinic. Pharmacists can immunize adults and children over five years old. Please call ahead to ensure vaccine is available.
In the past nine weeks we have administered over 4,900 measles vaccinations which is double what was administered the previous year. In addition to this, Island Health is offering to catch up all vaccines that the client is behind on at the appointment. Public Health continues to offer extra clinics to meet increased requests for immunization appointments.
Island Health is implementing the measles catch up campaign as announced last month by the Ministry of Health. More than 104,000 letters have been sent to parents and Island Health is scheduling in-school clinics as needed, as well as after school immunization clinics at public health units for children from kindergarten to grade 12 who are under or unimmunized for measles. Public Health units in North, Central and South Island are providing measles immunizations and prioritizing children, with extended clinic dates and hours running from April to June 2019.