Published: Fri, February 22, 2019
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

BC looking into vaccination registry due to measles outbreak: health minister

BC looking into vaccination registry due to measles outbreak: health minister

Mr. Dix stopped short of saying a plan is in place or when it might be announced, but he noted that some of the groundwork has already been done: The idea of a vaccination records registry had been contemplated after an outbreak of 343 cases of measles in B.C.'s Fraser Valley region in 2014.

Wednesday was so-called "exclusion day" in OR - the last day children can attend school without their required immunizations.

Similarly, Dr. Rio Magpantay, DoH-Region 2 health director, said the department would continue to conduct an outbreak response immunization program for children six to 59 months old regardless of immunization status.

The cost of Washington's measles outbreak has surpassed $1 million as more than 200 health-department staffers from the state and Clark County focus their efforts on the disease.

Nine cases of measles have been confirmed in Vancouver. The infection can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia and encephalitis, and can be fatal. People are contagious for about five days before symptoms develop and then it presents like a flu before it develops into a rash. The World Health Organization says there were 110,000 deaths from measles globally in 2017, a lot of them children under age five.

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Measles, caused by a virus that infects the respiratory tract, can be passed through direct contact and through the air. All school-age children and adults born in 1970 or later should have two doses of the MMR vaccine for full protection, according to Island Health.

However, some people - infants, those with certain underlying health conditions and patients undergoing chemotherapy - can not be vaccinated and must rely on high vaccination levels within their community in order to be protected from infection by so-called "herd immunity". "But studies have found no link between vaccines and autism", HeathLinkBC posted. "But this illness is one of the most contagious, so we have to maintain very good vaccination rates".

"Really, what we are trying to do here is to remind people that they need to follow the B.C. immunization schedule, and that includes measles-containing vaccines and other vaccines that are also effective at preventing other diseases". "So (the last day) people who were exposed could become sick as a result of that exposure is March 7", she said.

Dr. Amanda Cohn, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pediatrician, has three daughters at The Epstein School and Riverwood High School. A subsequent investigation of the school where the outbreak began revealed that 4.7 per cent of students had received no dose of the measles vaccine. Measles remains a common affliction in many areas of the world, including in parts of Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa.

Clark County Public Health has confirmed 64 measles cases in its ongoing outbreak investigation.

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