Story updated on March 9 with additional information.
There have been seven confirmed cases of measles and one suspected case in Revelstoke since an initial infection, but no newly-detected cases since March 4.
“We’re kind of in a lull,” says IHA communicable disease specialist Judi Ekkert, who is keeping her fingers crossed there will be no more cases.
IHA believes the initial infection happened between Feb. 8–13 and involved a Revelstoke resident who hadn’t recently travelled from town.
The source of that original infection is unknown.
Those who suspect they or their family members may have been infected should call their doctor to make arrangements and not show up at the office unbeknownst to the clinic. This is to avoid further infections.
A vaccination clinic was held at Revelstoke Secondary on Mar. 4 and a general clinic on Feb. 26. No more mass-vaccination clinics are planned. Those looking to get a measles vaccination can call the Revelstoke Health Unit at 250-814-2244.
IHA staff have also conducted contact-tracing exercises to determine who else may have been exposed. Ekkert said some involved may have found the exercise time-consuming, but she said this is likely because there hasn’t been a recent outbreak, so people are unfamiliar with the process. “We don’t see much measles anymore because of the vaccines that have been given to the kids,” she said.
Information on the last outbreak in Revelstoke was not immediately available.
Vaccinations for measles are usually given to children at 12 months and a booster at 18 months.
Ekkert said IHA encourages everyone to have their immunization records up to date to avoid confusion in the event of disease outbreaks. If you don’t have your records, try contacting your parents, your baby book, your doctor, or the health authority where you grew up. Don’t wait until there is an outbreak, Ekkert recommends.
Ekkert said vaccination rates depend on age group, but for the Thompson/Cariboo/Shuswap health area, about 85 per cent of children have been immunized with the Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR) vaccine by the time they start school. The MMR vaccine is given in a single injection.