Measles scare following fest

Vancouver Coastal Health is warning anyone who went to the Skookum Festival, visited Noodlebox Mount Pleasant or the Outdoor Community Block Party or used public transit in Vancouver at specific times that they may have been exposed to measles.

An individual who attended those locations has been confirmed to have the highly-contagious disease that is spread through the air.

Anyone who attended the locations at the specified times listed below and who has not been fully immunized with two doses of the measles vaccine, nor had the disease in the past, should see a doctor immediately.

The health authority says if you think you have been exposed and are not immune to measles, you should get immunized within six days of exposure to protect yourself.

Anyone who caught the disease at one of those events would begin developing symptoms between Sept. 15 and Sept. 29 and should see a doctor but phone the doctor's office first to avoid exposing others.

"The active measles virus can remain in a room or on a surface for two hours after the person has left. So if someone was on a bus, it could remain on that bus for two hours after that person left the bus," Vancouver Coastal Health communications lead Tiffany Akins said.

"That's why it's so important to just be vaccinated because it spreads through the air."

Most people are immune to measles because they've had two doses of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccines or had the illness in the past. However, the health authority is warning that individuals born between 1970 and 1994 or who grew up outside of British Columbia may have received only one dose and would require a second.

Measles symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.

The locations and times of concern are:

— Saturday, Sept. 8 - Skookum Festival, Stanley Park, 5 p.m. - 1 a.m.

— Saturday, Sept. 8 - Aquabus from Olympic Village to Hornby Street, approximate trip start was 3 p.m.

— Saturday, Sept. 8 - Canada Line SkyTrain from Vancouver City Centre to Broadway-City Hall Station, 11 p.m. - 1 a.m.

— Sunday, Sept. 9 - Outdoor Community Block Party at 1188 Quebec Street, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

— Sunday, Sept. 9 - Main Street bus from Terminal Station to Broadway, 3 p.m. - 5 p.m.

— Tuesday, Sept. 11 - Noodlebox Mount Pleasant (2511 Main Street) - Noon - 6 p.m.

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