Measles outbreak ends

400 cases reported in Fraser East during a four-week period

The measles outbreak in Fraser East is over, according to the health authority.

Fraser Health made the declaration Monday morning, after a four-week period that saw 400 cases occur, with some patients requiring hospitalization.

Dr. Paul Van Buynder, FHA’s chief medical health officer, said the number of transmissions and new cases has vastly been reduced, and while occasional cases may still be seen, the outbreak response is ending.

“The size of, and speed at which, this outbreak spread resulted in more cases of measles than the province has seen in the past 15 years, and was the largest outbreak in almost 30 years,” said Van Buynder. “National Immunization Awareness Week is an important time to remind parents how quickly these diseases can come back, and that vaccinations are your best shot at protecting your children from these preventable illnesses.”

The outbreak began during the first week of March at Mount Cheam Christian School in Chilliwack. The school is led by the Reformed Congregation of North America, which is opposed to vaccination.

On March 13, Fraser Health reported that the illness had spread to the general communities, and one child had been admitted to hospital.

Two days later, the agency reported that a student at BCIT in Burnaby had been exposed to the measles, and a number of cases were found at Abbotsford’s University of the Fraser Valley campus.