ORIGINAL STORY (addition below): A second case of measles infection has been confirmed in the B.C. interior.
The case, reported in 100 Mile House, is connected to another case of measles that was confirmed on March 9 in the town, according to Interior Health.
Both cases are connected to outbreaks outside of the province and are not linked to cases on the B.C. coast, according to the health authority, and are the only confirmed cases of measles in the region.
Interior Health is monitoring and following up with individuals who may have been in contact with the patient to determine immunization status and, if necessary, offering them post-exposure protection. The risk to the broader public is considered low.
Earlier this week the province launched an immunization program at schools to stamp out the measles resurgence. Across B.C. there have been more than a dozen confirmed cases since January, with nearly all appearing in the Lower Mainland.
Interior Health is asking people to contact your community health centre to speak with a public health nurse who will review your vaccine history, determine your immunity to measles, and arrange for vaccinations if needed.
Anyone who is concerned about exposure to measles should watch for symptoms of measles. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red and inflamed eyes. These are followed by a rash, which starts first on the face and neck, spreads to the chest, arms and legs, and lasts for at least three days.
ADDITION: Currently there are no other suspected measles cases that Interior Health is looking into, according to Dr. Sue Pollock, Medical Health Officer.
“There’s no suspected cases in the 100 Mile House region right now,” she says. “That is good news.”
Both of the local measles cases are adults, not children, according to Pollock.
“In Interior Health, our last cases were in 2011 so it’s been quite a long time since we had measles in Interior Health.”
With the case that they confirmed this morning, the individual did not have much exposure to the community, says Pollock.
“We have followed up with any of the known close contacts of this individual, so public health has followed up with the known close contacts and spoken with them about their immunization status and if necessary recommended that they go in to get a vaccine of MMR. That follow up has occurred already.”
Pollock says they hope people will take advantage of the ongoing vaccine clinics.
As of March 18, the percentage of children under 18 years of age who are appropriately immunized against measles in 100 Mile House is 82 per cent, and across IH it is 78 per cent.
Since the identification of the first measles case in 100 Mile House on March 9 up to March 21, there have been 181 doses of measles-containing vaccine provided through public health in 100 Mile House, according to IH.