UPDATE: Enquiries about measles vaccination up in Interior Health region - InfoNews

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UPDATE: Enquiries about measles vaccination up in Interior Health region

A doctor's assistant prepares a measles vaccination in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/dpa, Lukas Schulze
February 20, 2019 - 1:34 PM

While there have been no confirmed cases of measles in the Interior Health region, there is definitely an increase in the number of people looking to get vaccinated.

"We've had hundreds of calls from people asking for their immunization status and to make appointments," Interior Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Silvina Mema said during a media conference today, Feb. 20. "That’s OK. We want people to be interested in getting their immunization."

In Vancouver, 33 students and staff at two schools at the centre of the measles outbreak have been ordered to stay home because they haven't provided proof of vaccination. Mema said that, as far as she knows, that outbreak has been contained.

She confirmed that there are no confirmed cases of the measles in the Interior, nor have there been any confirmed cases since 2011 when there were seven.

However, anyone who has been travelling, particularly to countries with low immunization rates, who show symptoms such as a cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, a fever and spots starting on the head, should seek medical treatment. She advised them to notify health care providers that they may be contagious and advised wearing a mask.

Some countries in South-East Asia, Africa and Europe provide higher risks so she also advises people get immunized before travelling.

People wanting to get immunized can contact their local health unit, a list of which is provided here: https://immunizebc.ca/finder.

It may take a week or more to get an appointment for a shot but that's not a concern, Mema said. If there was to be an outbreak, more resources would be put in place to deal with it.

For information on the measles, people can check with Health Links here: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/measles.

 — This story was updated at 3:18 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 to add comments from Dr. Sivina Mema.


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