The measles virus can survive in small droplets in the air for several hours. The virus is spread through the air by droplets that have been coughed, sneezed or breathed on by an infected person.
Measles was eradicated in Canada two decades ago and recently reappeared due to a lower number of people being vaccinated against the disease. It is the most contagious vaccine-preventable disease.
What is measles and how is it cured?
Measles causes fever, rash, cold-like symptoms and red, inflamed eyes that can be sensitive to light. Complications include ear infections, pneumonia and inflammation of the brain which can lead to permanent damage or death from respiratory and neurologic complications. There is no cure.
How can you protect your family?
Children and adults can be easily protected from measles through two doses of the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine which has been proven safe through decades of use by most of the population in B.C. If your children are not up to date on their measles vaccinations, Interior Health encourages you to get it done as soon as possible.
How can you get the MMR vaccine for your family?
The provincial government has created the Measles Immunization Catch-Up Program in an effort to get every B.C. child up to date on their measles vaccinations. Interior Health is offering school catch-up clinics as well as opportunities to get the vaccine at health clinics throughout the region—at no cost.
Parents of school-aged children should have already received information if their child has not been fully immunized. Click here to see when your child’s school is conducting its clinic.
If the school has already had its clinic, you can take your child to a community public health centre which can be found using this map. Appointments are normally required.
The third option is your local pharmacy, which is permitted to give the MMR vaccine. It’s best to call ahead to ensure the vaccine is available.
If you’re unsure of your child’s immunization history, tips to locate them can be found at ImmunizeBC.
Is the vaccine safe?
All vaccines are thoroughly tested, and must be shown to be safe and effective before these products are approved for use. ImmunizeBC provides trustworthy, science-based information that will reassure you that vaccines are safe and that their benefits greatly outweigh the risks.
More information about the Measles Immunization Catch-Up Program can be found here.
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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