Case of measles confirmed in Vancouver

Measles case confirmed in Metro Vancouver

Health workers administer house-to-house measles vaccination to children in Payatas, Quezon City on February 7, 2019, amid measles outbreak in parts of the Philippines.

The patient, a Vancouver resident, was diagnosed on Thursday as having the virus, but the period during which it is considered infectious has since passed, said Shaf Hussain, a spokesman for Vancouver Coastal Health.

Carrie Stefanson with the health authority says there's no reason to issue a public alert, although health officials do contact places an infected person has been if they are still contagious.

He said the patient is receiving treatment, but could not say where.

The latest case is not believed to be linked to an outbreak of measles in the state of Washington, Hussain said. As of Saturday, 54 cases had been confirmed.

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Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles made the call as he assured the public that the government will "properly implement" Republic Act (RA) 10152 or the Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act of 2011. Complications can include inflammation of the brain, convulsions, deafness, brain damage and death. Children born after 1994 in B.C. got two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR), but people born before that time or outside of B.C. may not have recieved both doses. For herd immunity to work, 90 to 95% of people need to be vaccinated, and we're seeing the effects of ignoring the science.

Vancouver Coastal Heatlh recommends anyone who isn't sure on their immunization or disease history to be vaccinated.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control tracks child immunization and reports that 82.1 per cent of children aged seven had been immunized for measles in 2018, compared to 88.4 per cent in 2017 and 90.2 per cent in 2016.

"The picture for 2018 makes it clear that the current pace of progress in raising immunization rates will be insufficient to stop measles circulation", said Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO's regional director for Europe. Despite measles being officially declared "eliminated in the United States" in 2000, the number of measles cases have been increasing ever since, with 79 cases already in 2019, majority in Washington state.

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