Possible exposure to measles in Whistler 

Vancouver Coastal Health lists public venues where people may have been exposed

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Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) has released a list of locations where the public may have been exposed to measles, including one in Whistler, after two additional cases of the infection were identified.

Anyone who was at the Scandinave Spa in Whistler on Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. until 7:15 p.m. might have been exposed, officials say. The other location identified in the Sea to Sky corridor was McDonald's in Squamish on the same day from 9:45 a.m. until 11:45 a.m.

The other public venues on the list were in Vancouver and Richmond.

"Since a potential community transmission of measles has now been identified, there is an increased chance of further unidentified exposures in the community," VCH said in a release.

If you're not immunized, incompletely immunized or uncertain of your immunization and think you've been exposed to the measles, officials say you should monitor for symptoms for 21 days. Generally, symptoms appear between eight and 12 days. They include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes, followed by a rash that can start on the face and spread to the chest. If you suspect you have the illness, you're asked to call ahead to your health care provider before seeking treatment so arrangements can be made to prevent transmission of the disease to others.

In total, there have been 10 cases of measles stemming from the current outbreak. The highly infectious disease can spread through the air, by sharing food or drinks or kissing an infected person, although close contact is not needed for transmission.

VCH says those who are unimmunized or incompletely immunized are at the highest risk for contracting the illness. Two doses of the vaccine are 99 per cent effective at preventing measles.

If you were born before Jan. 1, 1970 or have had the measles, you are likely immune as well. People born between 1970 and 1994, or those who grew up outside of B.C. might have only had one dose of the vaccine and should get a second dose to be fully protected.

Free doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccines are available at your local community health care centre, which you can find here. VCH says your family doctor or pharmacist may also have the vaccine.

For more information on measles, click here.


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