Suspected measles outbreak in Revelstoke
Interior Health is taking steps to alert the public about a suspected outbreak of measles in the Revelstoke area.
Three probable cases and one confirmed case of measles have been reported in the Revelstoke area, the Interior Health Authority confirmed Tuesday.
All cases are believed to have contracted the virus in the Revelstoke area. Public health officials believe two of the probable cases attended classes at Revelstoke Secondary School during their infectious period.
The IHA is making efforts to prevent the virus from spreading, including sending letters to those who may have been exposed at the school, and additional vaccination clinics have been set up.
Vaccines are available by calling the Revelstoke Health Clinic at 250-814-2244 for an appointment.
“Measles is a potentially severe illness caused by a virus and it is very contagious,” said Dr. Andrew Larder IH, senior medical health officer.
“Measles spreads easily through the air and can be passed on to others by an infectious person for one to two days before any symptoms develop. The only protection against measles is vaccination.”
Vaccination against measles requires two doses of a measles vaccine (MMR). In BC, children routinely receive two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine (MMR) at 12 and 18 months, unless families have chosen not to immunize.
Those who have received only one dose are not considered to be immune.
If you or anyone in your family has not had two does of measles containing vaccine, please contact the Revelstoke Health Center (250-814-2244) to discuss immunization.
The measles vaccine is free for everyone born in 1957 or later. Adults born before 1957 are considered to have natural immunity to measles.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes (conjunctivitis).
These are followed by a rash, which starts first on the face and neck, spreads to the chest, arms and legs, and lasts for at least three days.
“It is very important that if you have a fever, cough, rash and red eyes to stay away from others to prevent spreading the disease,” said Dr. Larder.
If you develop these symptoms call 1-866-778-7736 to talk to Interior Health staff or call HealthLink (dial 811) to discuss your symptoms.
If you feel you need to go to hospital or a clinic, call ahead to avoid exposing others to a potentially infectious disease.
Further information can be found at http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/kb/content/mini/hw198187.html#hw198189.
If you have any questions about measles you may call the BC Nurse Line by dialling 811 or Interior Health at 1-866-778-7736.