Written by: Srijani Datta, Assistant News Editor
Health officials from Vancouver are urging individuals across the city and its surrounding areas to update their measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination doses, after reported cases of measles have gone up in Vancouver.
Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) released a public health bulletin after an individual who attended Skookum Festival at Stanley Park on September 8 had been identified to be suffering from measles. The individual is also identified to have used public transit, attended a community block party, and visited various other locations, between September 8 and 11, where he may have exposed others to the highly infectious disease.
Individuals may have been exposed to this disease on Saturday, September 8 when the individual had attended the Skookum Festival at Stanley Park between 5 pm to 1 am. The affected individual had also taken the Aquabus from Olympic Village to Hornby Street on the same day at approximately 3pm, and the Canada Line SkyTrain from Vancouver City Centre to Broadway-City Hall Station earlier in the day between 11pm to 1am.
Those who have visited the the Outdoor Community Block Party at 1188 Quebec Street, between 1 pm to 3 pm, on Sunday September 9, could have also been exposed to the infection by this individual. Additionally, on Sunday the individual had also used the Main Street bus from Terminal Station to Broadway between 3 pm to 5 pm. Furthermore, residents near Noodlebox Mount Pleasant on 2511 Main Street in Vancouver from 12pm to 6pm, on the same day may have been exposed to the disease.
The Peak reached out to Tammy Nazaruk, Associate Director of SFU Health Services,regarding any reported cases on SFU campuses. Nazaruk told The Peak that “currently, we are unaware of any measles cases at SFU. Our clinic is prepared to manage anyone presenting with suspect measles.”
Nazaruk further added that If any student has been exposed to measles or have a fever and rash, they should call the SFU clinic ahead when seeking medical care, following which the clinic can then prepare for the affected student’s visit, having taking precautions to reduce exposure to others.
Measles is a highly infectious and communicable disease that spreads through air. VCH stressed that, for full immunization, an individual needs two shots of the measles vaccine. Anyone who was present in the aforementioned areas at the specified date and time and has never received two shots of the vaccine, or has not been immunized by having the disease before, should check in with their doctor immediately, stated VCH.
In case of possible exposure between September 8 and 11, an unimmunized individual is projected to develop symptoms between September 15 and 29.
“If you were born before Jan. 1, 1970, you are likely to be immune. If you were born between 1970 and 1994, or grew up outside of B.C., you may have received only one dose of the MMR vaccine and require a second dose to be fully protected.” – Vancouver Coastal Health
Vancouver has been recording repeated alerts about potential measles exposure over the last month at locations including BC Ferries sailing, an outdoor community pool in New Westminster, the Vancouver International Airport, and Maple Ridge Secondary School.
With Files from The Vancouver Sun.