Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a statement aimed at reminding Canadians that measles is a serious and highly contagious disease and that getting vaccinated is the best protection.

The statement comes in response to an outbreak of nine cases of measles in Vancouver that began after an unvaccinated Canadian child contracted the disease on a family trip to Vietnam.

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash. The infection can lead to serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis and can be fatal.

READ MORE: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

READ MORE: Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

The Public Health Agency says getting two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is almost 100 per cent effective in preventing the disease.

The agency is urging Canadians to ensure their immunizations are up to date, especially if they are travelling outside the country.

People who cannot 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.

The Canadian Press

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