Island Health has confirmed two new cases of measles in Greater Victoria on Saturday, bringing the total affected on southern Vancouver Island to five.

The latest cases are under investigation, but do not appear to be related to two previous cases confirmed on the island last week.

Individuals at the following locations may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus:

  • April 2, 2019 between 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. at LifeLabs and West Coast Medical Imaging, located at 1641 Hillside Avenue
  • April 3, 2019 between 2:50 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. at LifeLabs, located at 4480 West Saanich Road

Island Health is warning people who have not been immunized or are incompletely immunized to get vaccinated.

There are other places people may have been exposed, but the vaccine won’t be able to stop infection:

  • March 27, 2019 between 1:30 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. at Camosun College Lansdowne Campus: Young Building
  • March 27, 2019 between 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Camosun College Lansdowne Campus: Bookstore in Fisher Building
  • March 27, 2019 Afternoon to Early Evening; Transit Buses #27 and/or #2
  • March 29, 2019 between 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Victoria Health Unit: 1947 Cook Street
  • March 30, 2019 between 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at London Drugs: 911 Yates Stree
  • March 30, 2019 Late Afternoon to Early Evening; Transit Buses #27 and/or #28
  • March 31, 2019 between 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at London Drugs: 911 Yates Street
  • March 31, 2019 Morning and Afternoon; Transit Buses #27 and/or #28
  • March 31, 2019 between 5:00 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. at Hillside Mall: 1644 Hillside Avenue (including Canadian Tire and Thrifty Foods)
  • March 31, 2019 5:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Subway Sandwiches: 4091 Shelbourne Street

Anyone who visited these locations at the specified times and has not been immunized can call the Saanich Health Unit at 250-519-5100 or the Victoria Health Unit at 250-388-2200.

Both health units will be open on Sunday, April 7 between 8:30 a.m. PT and 4:30 p.m. PT and the MMR vaccine is available at both locations.

Symptoms and what to do

If you’ve been exposed to measles, monitor your health for the next 21 days for symptoms of the disease including fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, diarrhea and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

Those who have never contracted measles or have not received two doses of the MMR vaccine are at highest risk of measles, and are encouraged to get immunized as soon as possible.

Island Health also states that those who believe they now have measles should contact their local health care provider before arriving at the facility so that health care practitioners may take precautions to minimize the risk of transmission.

Contact the following lines for information about measles and treatment:

  • South Island: 250-544-7676 ext. 27545
  • Nanaimo/Ladysmith/Gabriola: 250-755-3388
  • Courtenay/Comox Valley: 250-331-8599
  • Campbell River and area: 250-850-2120
  • Mt. Waddington/Port Hardy: 250-902-6079

See also:

Immunization

Free vaccinations are available from your local health unit, family doctor, and many pharmacists, although South Island, Duncan, Nanaimo and Salt Spring Public Health Units are prioritizing immunizations for children.

In the past 5 weeks, Island health has administered a total of 3,474 measles vaccinations which is more than double than the previous year. In addition to this, Island Health is offering to catch up all vaccines that the client is behind on at the appointment.

Prior to this recent increase, BC Centre for Disease Control statistics for 2012 and 2018 have shown that the immunization rate in 7-year-old children on Vancouver Island has decreased by 12-13% on Vancouver Island, and by 7% in B.C. within a 6 year span.