There is currently a measles outbreak in Vancouver. Measles is a very serious and contagious illness that can spread through the air from an infected person. If infected you may develop a cough, fever, runny nose and inflamed eyes. A red rash can appear on your face, neck, arms and legs.
How do I protect myself against measles?
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect against measles. When you get immunized, you help protect others as well.
There are 2 vaccines available in B.C. that provide protection against measles:
These vaccines are provided free as part of routine childhood immunizations and to others that need protection against measles.
How can I prevent spreading measles to others?
The virus is spread through the air and can survive in the air for several hours. Washing hands, sneezing or coughing into your arm, and refraining from sharing food, drinks, kissing, or sharing items such as cigarettes will reduce the transfer of the virus.
A person with measles can spread the virus to others from 4 days before to 4 days after their rash first appears. If you have measles you can help prevent spreading it to others by:
- Staying at home for at least 4 days after the rash first appeared.
- Washing your hands regularly.
- Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or sleeve rather than your hands.
- Not sharing food, drinks or cigarettes, or kissing others.
For more information on measles, immunization and where to get the measles vaccines, visit HealthLinkBC.ca and see the Measles Health Feature.