No confirmed measles cases in Interior Health as Vancouver, Washington state see outbreaks

So far B.C.’s Interior Health region appears to have avoided the measles outbreaks that have cropped up in Washington state and the Lower Mainland.

The health authority announced on social media Saturday that there have been no confirmed measles cases in Interior Health Authority area.

It’s a different story in the Lower Mainland, with cases reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and Fraser Health Authority this year.

On Friday, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control said the nine confirmed cases this year have included connected outbreaks at Vancouver schools and two cases linked to adults returning from overseas trips.

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Meanwhile, Washington state is reporting 60 confirmed cases as of Saturday afternoon. Almost three quarters of confirmed cases in Washington state involve kids under the age of 10.

At least 52 of the 60 patients in Washington with confirmed measles cases were not immunized.

So far, health officials in B.C. have not seen any link between the U.S. outbreak and the cases in the Lower Mainland.

Interior Health said it is watching the situation in the Lower Mainland and is emphasizing that immunization is the best way to protect yourself from the contagious virus.

In B.C., children typically receive two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. The first dose is administered when they are 12 months old and the second when they are between four and six years old.

Data released by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control showed that in 2017, 86 per cent of two-year-olds in the Interior Health Authority were up to date with their measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, which is slightly lower than in the Fraser Health and Island Health Authorities.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said if you think you have measles, call ahead to your doctor so they can see you in a way that doesn’t risk spreading the virus to others waiting to for medical treatment.

Symptoms of the virus include a rash, red eyes, runny nose, cough and fever.

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