Interior Health says there’s no confirmed cases of measles that they know of in the health authority region. There’s been nine confirmed cases in Vancouver Coastal Health and Medical Health Officer, Dr. Silvina Mema with IH does recommend having all your vaccinations.

“Really, what we are trying to do here is to remind people that they need to follow the BC immunization schedule and that includes measles containing vaccines, and other vaccines that are also effective as preventing other diseases.”

Dr. Silvina Mema (Submitted: Interior Health)

Dr. Mema adds its not unheard of to investigate cases in the Interior.

“As you know, measles is endemic in other parts of the world and people travel, so sometimes we do have people who have traveled outside of the Interior and they come back and they are seen by a physician and they believe that perhaps it’s measles that they have and we investigate them.”

There’s no travel advisory for those heading to Vancouver, and in general IH recommends following the immunization schedule.

According to 2018 data from the Kootenay Boundary, 81 per cent of two year-olds have revived their Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, compared to 90 per cent in the East Kootenay and 86 per cent across the rest of the health authority.

Dr. Mema says this is something they are trying to address.

“The Kootenays have one of the lowest immunization rates and it’s not just for measles or for MMR, it affects other vaccines as well. That is something that we know and we’ve known for a long time and we are making efforts there to try to address that.”

You can contact your local IH public health centre if you are unsure about your immunization status or to book an appointment.