Fraser Health Measles Alert

Surrey – Following an alert Thursday about a possible exposure to measles for anyone who went to the Skookum Festival, visited Noodlebox Mount Pleasant or the Outdoor Community Block Party, or used public transit in Vancouver at specific times, Fraser Health is advising anyone whose immunity to measles is in question to immediately get a dose of the vaccine today.

“If you were at any of the locations during the times listed below, and you have not been fully immunized with two doses of a measles vaccine (such as MMR), nor have had measles disease in the past, please contact your health care provider, public health unit or pharmacist to arrange for the vaccine today,” says Dr. Ingrid Tyler, medical health officer for Fraser Health. “After today, the vaccine will no longer be effective in protecting you from the festival exposure.”

Potential exposure locations/times are:

•            Saturday, Sept. 8 – Skookum Festival, Stanley Park, 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

•            Saturday, Sept. 8 – Aquabus from Olympic Village to Hornby Street, approximate trip start was 3 p.m.

•            Saturday, Sept. 8 – Canada Line SkyTrain from Vancouver City Centre to Broadway-City Hall Station, 11 p.m. – 1 a.m.

•            Sunday, Sept. 9 – Outdoor Community Block Party at 1188 Quebec Street, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

•            Sunday, Sept. 9 – Main Street bus from Terminal Station to Broadway, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

•            Tuesday, Sept. 11 – Noodlebox Mount Pleasant (2511 Main Street) – Noon – 6 p.m.

To accommodate anyone who needs the vaccine today, the following Fraser Health public health units will remain open until 7 p.m.:

  • Abbotsford – #104 – 34194 Marshall Road
  • Burnaby – #300 – 4946 Canada Way
  • Guildford – #100 – 10233 – 153 Street
  • Maple Ridge – #400 – 22470 Dewdney Trunk Road
  • Tri-Cities – #200 – 205 Newport Drive
  • White Rock – 15476 Vine Avenue

If you are unable to receive the vaccine by the end of Friday, Fraser Health recommends you be vigilant about receiving immediate care if you develop a cough AND a fever. If you develop both of these symptoms, we urge you to immediately contact your health care provider so they can advise you on next steps. Please ensure you call ahead so precautions can be taken to protect others.

Also at risk are infants under 1 year old who have never had measles immunization. If you were born in 1970 and later, to be fully protected against measles you should have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine (often given as combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or MMR). Those born prior to 1970 are likely to be immune to measles through a prior measles infection. If you are unsure about your immunization status, please consult with your doctor or local public health unit for advice.

More information about measles disease can be found here.

What is measles?

While most people recover fully after a few weeks, measles can be a serious illness with complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions, deafness, or brain damage. Infants under one year of age and adults who have other health conditions may have more severe illness. In Canada, death is rare, estimated in the range of 1 for every 500-3,000 cases.

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