Message from Vancouver Coastal Health to students, faculty, and administration:
There has been a confirmed case of Measles on Langara College Campus. Students and staff who may have been exposed have been contacted by Vancouver Coastal Health Communicable Disease Control.
Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through the air. It starts with fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. These symptoms develop between 7 to 21 days after a person is exposed. A characteristic rash then develops, beginning on the face and spreading down the body. Measles can be a serious illness with permanent complications.
The 21 day incubation period for measles following this exposure will end March 9th. If you think you are exhibiting the symptoms listed above, we are asking you to phone public health at 604.675.3900 to speak with a nurse. This will allow us to determine if measles continues to circulate at Langara College.
Most people in Canada are protected through immunization with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Children receive MMR at 12 months of age followed by a second dose before 6 years of age. Two doses of MMR vaccine are 99% effective at preventing measles. MMR vaccine is available through your local public health unit or at the Urgent Primary Care Centre. Your local pharmacy and family doctor may also have the vaccine available.
To protect you and your family, we recommend the following:
- If you were born on or after January 1st, 1970 and have not had two doses of measles vaccine, you should receive a dose of MMR vaccine now.
- If you were born on or after January 1st, 1970 and are unsure of your immunization history and unable to locate your records, we recommend that you get a dose of MMR vaccine.
- If you were born before 1970, or have had measles, you are most likely immune. However, if you believe that you did not have measles infection, it is safe to receive a dose of vaccine
- If you develop the symptoms of measles, stay at home. Please call your doctor and say you think you may have measles. This will allow your doctor to take precautions to protect other patients. Please call our Public Health Team at 604-675-3900 for advice and to report any illness.
If it is determined that measles is circulating at Langara College, students and staff without documented immunity will be required to stay home from school until there is no longer a risk of measles at school. However, we are not asking any students to stay home at this time.
If you have any questions, you can call a Public Health nurse at your local Community Health Center or call our communicable disease control team at 604.675.3900, or toll free at 1-855-675-3900, if you have any questions.
Althea Hayden Medical Health Officer
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority Communicable Disease Control
City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre
1290 Hornby Street