New South Island measles exposure confirmed

Island Health has confirmed one new case of measles infection on the South Island. Island Health is alerting individuals that they may have been exposed to measles at the following locations:

Date

Time

Location

March 30, 2019

12 pm. to 3 p.m.

Beacon Community Services Thrift Store: 7060 West Saanich Road (located in same building as Victoria Costumes)

March 30, 2019

12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Fairway Market: 7108 West Saanich Road

If you were at either of those locations during the specified times and you are unimmunized or incompletely immunized and it has been less than 6 days since this exposure, you can call the Saanich Health Unit at 250-519-5100 to find out where to get vaccinated this week.

Island Health is asking people who may have been exposed to measles to monitor for symptoms for 21 days after the exposure date. 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. Those who 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. Measles immunization is free for everyone.

Call 8-1-1 for information any time, visit healthlinkbc.ca or immunizebc.ca/measles.

Call our measles information line for services in your area:  

  • South Island: 250-544-7676 ext. 27545
  • Nanaimo/Ladysmith/Gabriola: 250-755-3388
  • Courtenay/Comox Valley: 250-331-8599
  • Campbell River and area: 250-850-2120
  • Mt. Waddington/Port Hardy: 250-902-6079

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 5 weeks we have administered a total of 3474 measles vaccinations which is more than double than 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.

This latest case of measles does not appear to be related to the two previous cases, confirmed last week.

For general information about measles visit the Island Health website: www.islandhealth.ca

 

Media Inquiries     

Cheryl Bloxham
Media Relations
Phone: 250-370-8878
Email: Cheryl.Bloxham@viha.ca