Second Whatcom County resident contracts measles with ties to B.C. outbreak

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 31, 2014 

A second Whatcom County resident has contracted measles traced to an outbreak that began earlier this month in the Fraser Valley in British Columbia.

The second person lives in the same house as the first Whatcom County case reported last week.

"We basically have limited spread in the household," said Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County health officer, on Monday, March 31.

"The general public is still not considered at risk," he added.

The spread within the household was expected, Stern said, given their vaccination status.

The number of confirmed cases in the Fraser Valley East communities -Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope - totals about 230 people, according to B.C. public health officials.

Officials there declared an outbreak March 8.

Most of the cases were related to a private school with a high number of unvaccinated children, and the outbreak hasn't spread much beyond the Fraser Valley East communities.

The first Whatcom County resident who contracted measles has ties to the school, according to Stern.

Measles is a highly contagious disease that is spread primarily through coughing and sneezing.

Public health officials are urging people who aren't immunized to get vaccinated.

Reach KIE RELYEA at kie.relyea@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2234.

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