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Measles outbreak spreads beyond Chilliwack private school

Winnie the Pooh and Chilliwack resident Kendra Taylor get a booster shot during a 2012 whooping cough outbreak. - File
Winnie the Pooh and Chilliwack resident Kendra Taylor get a booster shot during a 2012 whooping cough outbreak.
— image credit: File

The ultra-orthodox Protestant church community in Rosedale at the centre of an ongoing measles outbreak has failed to contain the disease within its own ranks.

The Fraser Health Authority (FHA) announced Thursday that measles cases now appear to be occurring in the general populations of Chilliwack and Agassiz—outside of Mount Cheam Christian school and the Reformed Congregation of North America church, where the first cases were reported.

FHA chief medical health officer, Dr. Paul Van Buynder confirmed one child has been admitted to hospital, and he reminded all residents of Fraser East that the best protection against measles infection is two doses of measles vaccine.

Arrangements are being made to distribute increased measles vaccine to doctors offices and pharmacies in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope, and health officials are urging older children and adults who need immunization to access the vaccine through one of these health-care providers.

Children under the age of five years are most at risk of serious disease and need to obtain the vaccine from a general practitioner or a public health clinic.

Special vaccination clinics in Chilliwack and Agassiz are being organized for early next week and announcements regarding their availability will be made on the Fraser Health website.

People with symptoms of measles are asked to isolate themselves at home.   Anyone who is seriously ill is asked to contact their general practitioner, public health unit or emergency department before arriving to prevent the spread of the disease to other vulnerable patients.

“It is not necessary to attend a medical centre for testing to confirm measles during an outbreak unless you are quite sick,” Van Buynder said. “We know there is measles circulating and laboratory confirmation is not necessary.  However, if you are seriously ill, please see a doctor after warning them you are coming.”

For further information about measles, visit www.bccdc.ca.

 

 

 

 

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