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Vaccinations and the measles resurgence | Smart Talk

Vaccinations and the measles resurgence | Smart Talk

"There's always a risk of measles importation into Canada", Tam said from Ottawa. "Given the fact that in these days people travel a lot, we're very anxious that it might come to Alberta". I am most excited about development of vaccines to prevent infectious diseases for which there are now high levels of antibiotic resistance, such as MRSA [Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus] and vaccines preventing disease in young infants by vaccinating pregnant women. "The rash starts on the face and moves down onto the trunk, to the chest and the back, and then it spreads to cover the whole body". Since the 1960s, two doses of the measles vaccine have been given to young children to prevent the disease, which causes symptoms ranging from pneumonia to vision loss, and even death. It can also be fatal.

Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air and can linger for up to two hours in an enclosed area.

Dix says there are some people who are expressing opposition to immunization, while others can't be immunized for medical reasons and some simply fall through the cracks.

People who can not be vaccinated, including infants, people with certain underlying health conditions and those undergoing chemotherapy, rely on high levels of immunity within communities to protect them from the disease.

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Another complicating feature of measles is that it can be contagious for four days before the rash arises, said Tam. "If you visit the emergency department, please put on a mask at arrival and immediately tell the triage staff that you think you may have measles so they can take precautions".

Nevertheless, the outbreak is close enough to home for VIHA to issue immunization tips - for example, if you were born between 1970 and 1994 or grew up outside of B.C. you may need a second dose of the MMR (measles) vaccine.

The vast majority of people affected by the current outbreak were not vaccinated against the virus. VCH has stated that a 90% vaccination rate or higher will ensure that people can protect themselves as well as others from preventable diseases. Global coverage has stalled at 85 per cent in recent years, well short of herd-protection levels. The measles vaccination can quickly protect an individual as soon as it is administered, keeping them safe from being able to contract the deadly infectious disease. The two-dose inoculation provides lifelong immunity. An INSPQ study shows that in 2016, 94 per cent of Quebec two-year-olds had received both doses of the measles vaccine, up from 88 per cent in 2006. "That is something that we've known for a long time, and we are making efforts there to try to address that".

"If someone is questioning whether to get vaccinated or not.it's a really good idea now to go in and talk to your health provider if you have questions and get them answered and get yourself vaccinated", Tam said.

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