Richmond Toys 'R' Us employee among B.C. measles patients
One of the recently reported cases of measles in the Vancouver area was that of an employee at a Richmond Toys "R" Us, CTV News has learned.
Notices have been posted at the toy store at Lansdowne Centre warning shoppers they may have been exposed on Feb. 17 and 18.
The manager couldn't comment on the case, but the alerts taped up at the store said an individual was present from about 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on both days.
"We are recommending that anyone who was present on those days, and not immune to measles, should monitor for early symptoms of the disease, and also ensure that their immunizations are up to date," the notices from Vancouver Coastal Health read.
Measles is highly contagious and can remain in a room for hours after an infected person has left. Initial symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and watery eyes.
Within a few days, the patient will develop a rash starting on the face and spreading across the body.
Often, those infected are contagious before they even know they've contracted the virus.
The Toys "R" Us employee's case is one of 13 known to local health officials.
- Read details on the locations tied to the most recent cases
- Last week's possible exposure locations, including stops on the Canada Line
At a news conference Monday, Vancouver Coastal Health said no new cases have been reported since the weekend, when it was made public that two new patients had been identified.
Those patients had contracted the virus while travelling to parts of the world where there is active circulation.
"This is not an uncommon occurrence and although we inform the public because there were some places of exposure to the public, it is important that people know this isn't an expansion of the outbreak," medical health officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said.
She advised anyone planning a trip to make sure their childhood vaccinations are up to date.
Gustafson said local clinics have seen an increase in patients requesting vaccines, but there are no concerns about running out of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine so far.
She said the outbreak is "reasonably well-contained," but that more cases are possible as the region is still in what health officials call the incubation period.
"We don't anticipate significant community transmission of measles… We know that the vast majority of British Columbians are protected through immunization, and we don't tend to get ongoing transmission even after measles is introduced," she said.
However, because measles is so contagious, she said, health officials will "remain vigilant for any additional cases" given the amount of outbreaks worldwide.
While most people living in the province have had their vaccine, Gustafson said it's safe for anyone who isn't sure to get it again.
Gustafson also addressed concerns about risks of exposure while out and about in Metro Vancouver: "There is no generalized transition of the measles in our community right now."
With files from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim