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Health Alert: Measles in Fraser East

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>> Find the full list of vaccination clinics and where you can get immunized

April 8, 2014

As of today, Fraser Health has 375 confirmed cases of measles in Fraser East. The second wave of infections which hit Fraser East is close to being over. This is a testament to the hard work and collaboration of Public Health officials and the community as a whole. We continue to remind people that the best way to protect yourself against measles is with two doses of vaccine.

March 31, 2014

Thanks to the leadership of chief medical health officer, Dr. Paul Van Buynder, the  team of dedicated health-care providers at Fraser Health Authority and the increased uptake of vaccination, the current measles outbreak has been largely contained to the eastern regions of the Fraser Valley and members of that community.

This current measles outbreak in regions of the Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope) is now entering its fourth week and while there are now cumulatively an estimated 320 cases, the spread of the virus into other communities has been limited. The level of risk to British Columbians outside of these communities is currently considered to be low.


The measles outbreak is expected to continue for another two weeks as the second and third wave of the disease makes its way through the communities. Anyone who has symptoms or suspects they have contracted measles is encouraged to stay home until the symptoms are over.

>> Read the full news release

March 24, 2014

Fraser Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer is pleased that unimmunized people in Fraser East (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope) are heeding the message about the importance of getting vaccinated and showing up to local clinics, pharmacies and doctors’ offices to get immunized against measles.

“We currently have 228 confirmed cases of measles in the Fraser East region, and largely these cases are contained within the original community where the outbreak began”, said Dr. Van Buynder. “We know our vaccine program is working because if it were not, we would be seeing measles cases multiplying outside of this specific population. I am encouraged by this and want to stress the need for people to continue to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, their families and others from this disease.”

>> Read the full news release

March 21, 2014

Fraser Health is offering vaccination clinics for all unimmunized residents of Fraser East. This is in collaboration with local general practitioners in the Fraser East communities of Abbotsford, Mission, and Chilliwack.

Any attending the clinics should also bring their BC Services Card.

Children under the age of 5 years are most at risk of serious disease and need to obtain the vaccine from a general practitioner or a public health clinic.

Anyone with two documented doses of MMR vaccine is considered protected. People born before January 1, 1970 are likely immune due to previous measles infection and no immunization is recommended. All individuals born on or after January 1, 1970 should receive 2 doses of measles-containing vaccine after 1 year of age.

>> Find the full list of vaccination clinics and where you can get immunized

For further information about measles, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

March 17, 2014

Fraser Health is continuing to work with identified cases of measles and their contacts to contain the spread of the disease. We are seeing 80-100 cases of measles covering Fraser East. A case linked to the original outbreak was at the BCIT campus on March 6 and 7 and Fraser Health is working with BCIT to alert students who may have come in contact with this particular individual who has measles. The risk to the general BCIT student population is low, as most of the population are in the age group that would have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine.

At this point, there has been no significant spread of measles outside of the Fraser Valley East communities.

If you have had two doses of measles-containing vaccine you do not need to have any further vaccine. If you only had one dose of measles-containing vaccine you should obtain a booster dose as soon as possible.

For adults and children over the age of 5, measles vaccine can be obtained through your doctor or pharmacy. Fraser Health will be offering measles vaccine clinics for children between the ages of 1 and 5 years old at the Agassiz and Chilliwack Health Units. These clinics are by appointment only so please call the health unit.

March 17, 2014

Public Health clinics for measles vaccinations have been confirmed for the following dates / times. Clinics for children aged 1-5 are listed below and are by appointment only. People over 5 requiring the measles vaccine should speak to their physician or a local pharmacist.

Agassiz Health Unit (call 604-793-7160)

  • March 18th 9:30 – 11:30
  • March 20th 9:30 – 11:30

Hope Health Unit (call 604-860-7630)

  • March 25th 1:00 – 4:00
  • March 27th 1:00 – 4:00

Chilliwack Health Unit (call 604-702-4900)

  • Daily March 18th – March 28th 9:30 – 4:00 (no appointments available over lunch period)

March 15, 2014

A case related to the measles outbreak in Chilliwack has been confirmed at the BCIT Campus in Burnaby. This student was on campus on March 6 and 7.

Fraser Health is working with BCIT to alert students who may have come in contact with this particular student of a possible exposure to measles. Students who attended classes in building NE1 at the Burnaby BCIT campus on March 6 or 7 can return to school on March 17, 2014 if they have two documented doses of MMR vaccine, if they are born before 1970 or if they have had measles illness in the past.

People with symptoms of measles are asked to isolate themselves at home. Anyone that is seriously ill is asked to contact their doctor, public health unit, or emergency department prior to arriving in order to prevent the spread of the disease to other vulnerable patients.

>> Read full article

March 13, 2014

Fraser Health is advising that measles cases now appear to be occurring in the general communities of Chilliwack and Agassiz; outside of the previous school and religious group areas.

Fraser Health’s Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Paul Van Buynder has confirmed one child has been admitted to hospital to date.  He reminds all residents of Fraser East that the best protection against measles infection remains two doses of measles vaccine.

Arrangements are being made to distribute increased measles vaccine to general practitioners and pharmacies in the Fraser East region (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope).  Fraser Health is requesting that older children and adults requiring immunization access the vaccine through one of these health care providers.

Children under the age of 5 years are most at risk of serious disease and need to obtain the vaccine from a general practitioner or a public health clinic.

>>Read full public service announcement

March 8, 2014

The Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) of Fraser Health is warning residents living in Fraser East communities (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope) of a measles outbreak in low immunized areas of the region.

The most recent exposure to this highly contagious virus has occurred in a school in Chilliwack in a community with traditionally low immunization rates.  Two confirmed cases of measles have been reported and Fraser Health is following up on dozens of linked suspected cases.

Public Health staff are contacting the affected families directly to offer immunoglobulin or vaccine in order to reduce the chance of the infection developing. Of particular concern is students and families preparing for Spring Break.  Fraser Health is advising individuals who may have been exposed to the virus to refrain from travelling until they have been cleared by Public Health.

>> Read full media release

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