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Do I have to worry about the current Measles outbreak? [measles, mmr, vaccination]

Updated: Mar 11

measles skin

What is Measles? 1,2,3,4

Measles is a highly contagious virus that can be spread through air droplets.  The tiny droplets from sneezing/coughing from a patient who has measles can even stay in the air for up to several hours. Symptoms appear around 3 to 7 days after infection and may last 4 to 7 days: fever, cough, runny nose, red lesions with white center inside the oral cavity, blotchy rash first appears on the face, then slowly spreads to the whole body.

Measles is not always lethal, but can cause extreme discomfort, plus it can also lead to pneumonia, or meningitis.

Since Measles is a virus, once infected, there is no medication that can be used to eradicate measles.  Treatment are mostly aim at symptomatic relief: taking Tylenol for fever, cough medicines, and rest

Measles Vaccine

Vaccination is the best way to prevent measles. Measles vaccine has a successful rate of more than 90%!!

Since 1970, BC has been providing free measles vaccines, dropping the number of measles cases from 25000 in 1970 to 101 in 2019.

The current measles vaccine BC providing has actually 3 components in one shot: Measles, Mumps, Rubella - MMR vaccine

According to BCCDC, the schedule of measles vaccination:

  • Baby should receive the first dose at 12 month of age, repeat a second dose at age 4 or 6 to finish the whole series to achieve lifelong immunity

  •  People born in 1970 or after, not sure if oneself has vaccinated against measles, nor infected with measles, he/she can receive 2 doses of MMR vaccine (4 weeks apart)

  • People born in 1969 or earlier, before the measles vaccine available are highly likely to have already been infected with measles.  Hence, if needed, only need one dose of MMR vaccine

Measles vaccine (MMR) vaccination are available for appointment booking:

- at your local Public Health Unit in the city you reside

- contact us at Crystal Pharmacy for MMR vaccine


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