Measles outbreak alarms minister

Terry Lake says he hasn't considered making vaccinations mandatory, health officials warn parents about travel during spring break

  • Mar. 10, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Health Minister Terry Lake

Health Minister Terry Lake said his ministry is watching closely as Fraser Health deals with a potential outbreak of measles, which appears linked to a lack of routine vaccinations in school-aged children.

Lake said he has not yet considered making vaccinations mandatory for school-aged children, as other provinces have, despite some schools in the Fraser Valley reporting no vaccinations at all.

“At this time we’re not going down that road, but we certainly want the public to be very aware of the importance of vaccination, and get the rates back up where they should be,” Lake said.

Fraser Health has confirmed two cases and about 100 suspected cases in the Eastern Fraser Valley. Officials wouldn’t identify the school Monday, except to say it is in a Chilliwack community with a history of low immunization rates.

Officials asked anyone who believes they are exposed to measles to contact their doctor before arriving at a medical facility.

“We are urging individuals who may have been exposed to the virus to contact their local Public Health Unit to be cleared before travelling during spring break,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, chief medical officer for Fraser Health.

The measles warning applies to Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope.

 

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

UPDATE: Nelson man who swam naked with sharks arrested

David Weaver, 37, will face mischief and assault charges

Vernon Vipers shut out Smokies

Williamson comes off IR with three points

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Rossland woman, 64, completes marathon bike ride across Asia

Brenda Trenholme completed the 13,000-kilometre trek last week

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Most Read