Fraser Health announced on Wednesday that the number of measles cases continues to grow in Fraser East, and more alerts have been issued, including to students living on campus at University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford.
Dr. Lisa Mu, a medical health officer with Fraser Health, said a letter was sent out on Monday at the request of UFV administrators because “a number” of UFV students are from families in Chilliwack and Agassiz who have been exposed to the disease.
Mu said Fraser Health is currently investigating one suspected case at UFV, but, as of Thursday morning, there have been no confirmed cases of the measles in Abbotsford or Mission.
Dr. Paul Van Buynder, chief medical health officer, said in a press release that a measles alert was also sent to staff who worked at the Chilliwack Lions Club Music and Dance Festival, which ran from Feb. 4 to March 12.
He said measles cases continue to occur in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Hope and Agassiz. He said there are currently about 80 to 100 cases covering Fraser East.
“The most recent cases occurred in a public school student and a worker in a community retail outlet, thus exposing large numbers of the public during their infectious period,” Van Buynder said.
“We are disappointed that people who are showing symptoms of measles are not isolating themselves as requested by Fraser Health and, as a result, other people in the community are being exposed to this infectious disease.”
He said that people who have been asked to isolate themselves should do so until after the possible infectious period – 21 days after exposure.
The outbreak began during the first week of March at Mount Cheam Christian School in Chilliwack. The school is led by the Reformed Congregation of North America, which is opposed to vaccination.
On March 13, Fraser Health reported that the illness had spread to the general communities, and one child had been admitted to hospital.
Two days later, the agency reported that a student at BCIT in Burnaby had been exposed to the measles.
Anyone with two doses of measles-containing vaccine does not require further immunization. Those with just one does are encouraged to obtain a booster dose as soon as possible.
Others can obtain the measles vaccine through their doctor or pharmacy.