Measles Outbreaks

Unlike Ebola, measles is highly contagious. These outbreaks worldwide show just how quickly a disease can resurface. We have seen numerous outbreaks of measles and mumps in North America alone. These very contagious viral illnesses can become epidemic as fewer people vaccinate their children against them. The measles outbreak at Disneyland strikes in an anti-vaccination hotbed of California — the worst outbreak the state has seen in 15 years. The illness has since spread to 11 counties in California, Utah, Washington state, Colorado, Oregon, and Mexico.

Traveling to Disneyland or other high risk areas?

In order to be fully protected, individuals should have two doses of the vaccine. In 1996, BC started routinely giving two doses to all infants at 12 months then again at 18 months or 4 years. The population that has only had one dose are those born between 1970-1996. Individuals in this age group are recommended to have a second dose of vaccine. Individuals born prior to 1970 are considered immune to measles, mumps, and rubella. Once you get two doses of the MMR vaccine, it is good for life.

  • Early doses of MMR can be given to your baby as long as he/she is between 6 to 12 months old.
  • The population born prior to 1970 are immune to measles, mumps, and rubella.
  • The population born between 1970-1996 are the ones who need a second dose of MMR.

“Measles is so contagious, that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Infants who are too young to be immunized, people with other underlying health conditions, and people who are not immunized are especially at risk so make sure you vaccinate for their sake as well.

Where can I get the MMR vaccine?

The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine is publicly funded (free/covered by your CareCard) so you can use the “Find Services” link to locate a public health health clinic.

We have the vaccine here at the VCH Travel Clinic (The vaccine is free, but there is a one-time $20 admin fee if you have not been here before. This is because we run on a cost-recovery basis.). If you are looking for routine vaccine updates, we highly recommend using the “Find Services” link to locate a public health health clinic. If you are traveling, you should book in for a consult — we will get you up-to-date on both the routine and travel-specific vaccinations all in one go.

Want more information?

For more information or to book your vaccination, give us a call at 604-736-9244.


Updated on: February 25, 2019