NEWS
03/31/2014 03:43 EDT | Updated 05/31/2014 05:59 EDT

4 measles cases in Washington tied to B.C. outbreak

The number of B.C.-linked measles cases south of the border in Washington state has grown.

Dr. Greg Stern, a health officer with Whatcom County, says four members of the same family are confirmed to have contracted measles.

Stern said one member of the family contracted measles while in B.C. before the virus spread to three other family members.

The family is now in isolation, he said.

The family belongs to the same church congregation as many of those who came down with measles in B.C.'s Fraser Valley. The health authority in B.C., Fraser Health, confirmed there were 228 cases of measles in B.C.'s eastern Fraser Valley last week.

The outbreak was first declared March 8 in parts of the region where immunization rates were low within some religious communities and schools.

The health authority then warned the virus was spreading and confirmed over two weeks ago that a student from BCIT in Burnaby, B.C., was infected.

Fraser Health says it has also been working with schools, community groups, churches and medical officials to control the virus and it has set up dedicated immunization clinics.

Stern said there is nothing to suggest measles will spread into the wider community in Whatcom County, but he's urging residents who haven't been vaccinated to make an appointment.