Late last week, a letter was sent out to parents of children in Foothills Elementary School, warning them of a measles case. The notice sent out on Thursday said there had been a “confirmed case of measles”. However, Friday an updated notice was sent out downgrading the case, saying measles was now only “suspected” based on information provided by Northern Health. Medical Health Officer with Northern Health, Andrew Gray, says “We have been investigating what has been raised as a suspicion of measles, but from everything we have learned so far we feel that it’s very, very unlikely. We are confident that it is not a case of measles.”
Northern Health says regardless, it is a good reminder to protect your children.
“Measles is a very, very contagious viral disease which occasionally can have severe complications. It is highly preventable with the measles vaccine. This is a vaccine that is safe and extremely effective, and is recommended to everyone.”
Gray says in most cases measles are brought to an area by travelers who leave the country. He says unvaccinated people pose a risk.
“It is usually someone who has been overseas who develops the disease only once they get to Canada. If there are unvaccinated people they come in contact with then we can have local transmission. Sometimes it develops into outbreaks in communities where there is a lot of unvaccinated people.”
A full vaccination schedule is available on the Immunize BC website.
The local clinics we contacted all say there have been no cases of measles recently. Northern Health says there has been no case in BC for several months now.