April 25, 2014 - 7:10 PM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - Saturday marks the beginning of a nation-wide event promoting immunizations and while the latest outbreak of measles has been kept out of the Interior Health region, people are still encouraged to make sure they are up to date.
Dr. Sue Pollock says the Interior Health region strives for a 95 per cent coverage rate, high enough to help protect those who cannot be immunized and at a high of 91 per cent in the Thompson-Cariboo-Shuswap region there is still room to improve.
Pollock, a medical health officer with Interior Health, notes the recent outbreak of measles in the Fraser Health region has medical staff watching closely and more people seeking immunizations.
“We’ve been monitoring very carefully, and we have not had any cases (or suspected cases) in Interior Health as of yet,” she says. “We have had reports of there being more calls from the public (for immunizations)… some people may be travelling to the Fraser Health region or just want to make sure they’re up to date.”
While measles is the latest disease outbreak to make headlines, Pollock says others have hit the region in the past year as well.
“It’s easy to forget they’re very dangerous,” she notes. “We had some pertussis, whooping cough, in the Kootenays in the fall of 2013, and mumps across Interior Health. Those are two diseases we shouldn’t be seeing.”
April 26 to May 3 is National Immunization Awareness Week. Pollock encourages people to check with their public health unit if they need to, or think they may need to, get up to date with immunizations.
Measles cases have also been reported in several other provinces and states since the outbreak began in the Lower Mainland earlier this year.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014