NEWS

Measles spreading in Fraser Valley East

03/13/2014 07:01 EDT | Updated 05/13/2014 05:59 EDT
Fraser Health has issued a warning that cases of measles have begun spreading outside of the previous school and religious groups where they first appeared and into the general population in Chilliwack and Agassiz.

Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder says only one child has been admitted to hospital to date, but cases have begun showing up in the general community in the two Fraser Valley municipalities.

The health district says its warning includes all of Fraser Valley East, including Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope.

Special vaccination clinics next week

Arrangements are being made to distribute increased measles vaccines to doctors and pharmacies in the area. Children under the age of five are most at risk of serious complications, and Van Buynder says they should be vaccinated right away.

Special vaccination clinics in Chilliwack and Agassiz are being organized for early next week and their locations will be available on Fraser Health's website.

Van Buynder is asking anyone with symptoms to isolate themselves at home.

“It is not necessary to attend a medical centre for testing to confirm measles during an outbreak unless you are quite sick," says Van Buynder.

"We know there are measles circulating and laboratory confirmation is not necessary."

Van Buynder says those who are very sick should get to the doctor, but only after warning they are coming.

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