Multiple measles cases throughout the Lower Mainland
By Katie Czenczek, News Editor
The one good thing about getting closer to midterm season is that at least there will be less of a chance that you’ve contracted measles from any of the July to September scares.
Several measles exposures have been popping up across the Lower Mainland last month and early September. As far is it has been traced back, one case at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), confirmed by health authorities on August 14, appears to be the earliest appearance of the infection in this most recent string of exposures. The traveller originally came to Vancouver from Tokyo on July 30 and passed through YVR again on August 6—though this infection would have already shown symptoms if people were exposed, given that any individuals who do contract the disease will likely show symptoms in one to three weeks.
According to the BC Centre for Disease Control, another incidence possibly linked to the YVR case popped up later in August. People who visited the Moody Park Outdoor Pool, a New Westminster swimming pool, on August 19 between 1:30 pm and 4:30 pm may have been exposed to the virus.
Yet another warning arose after a possible exposure on August 31 at 7 pm, where Fraser Health said that anyone who travelled on BC Ferries from Tsawwassen to Mayne Island at that time may have come into contact with the disease. This specific strain was also traced to Maple Ridge Secondary, which led the school’s administration to tell students and staff that they would be unable to enter the school until September 26 if they had not been immunized.
Following the traveller who went to YVR twice in two weeks and the high-schooler who boarded the ferry, Vancouver Coastal Health officials warn that anyone who went to Skookum Festival may have come into contact with a third individual who has also been confirmed to carry the virus.
On September 8, anyone who went to Skookum Festival at Stanley Park from 5 pm to 1 am, rode an Aquabus from Olympic Village to Hornby Street around 3 pm, and rode the Canada Line from Vancouver City Centre to Broadway-City Hall Station from 11 pm to 1 am may be at risk for the infection.
For September 9, those who went to the Outdoor Community Block Party on Quebec Street from 1 pm to 3 pm or later took a Main Street bus from Terminal Station to Broadway from 3 pm to 5 pm may have also been potentially exposed.
Finally, on September 11, anyone who ate at Noodlebox Mount Pleasant—located at 2511 Main Street—from anytime between noon and 6 pm may have come into contact with the person infected by measles.
For the Skookum Festival infection, those affected will likely show symptoms between September 15 and September 29, so they might still crop up.
Health officials warn that if you start experiencing fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, followed by a rash starting on the face and making its way down to the chest, you should contact your doctor and tell them you may have contracted measles. It’s not recommended, however, that you go to a clinic, as you could infect at-risk people with weaker immune systems.
Anyone born before January 1, 1970, or those born after but who have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, are likely in the clear. For everyone else, it might be time to get vaccinated.