British Columbia

Measles outbreak mostly contained at 228 cases: Fraser Health

Fraser Health Authority's Dr. Paul Van Buynder says efforts to isolate and contain the measles virus appear to be working in the eastern parts of B.C.'s Fraser Valley.

Outbreak alert issued March 8 for Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope

Fraser Health says children under five are most at risk of serious complications and should be vaccinated immediately. (U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention)

The Fraser Health Authority's top doctor is continuing to urge people to seek vaccinations after 228 cases of measles were confirmed in the eastern parts of British Columbia's Fraser Valley.

Dr. Paul Van Buynder says many of the cases have been contained to the original community where the outbreak occurred and efforts to isolate and contain the measles virus, including holding vaccination clinics, appear to be working.

"We know our vaccine program is working because if it were not, we would be seeing measles cases multiplying outside of this specific population," Van Buynder said in a written statement.

"I am encouraged by this and want to stress the need for people to continue to get vaccinated in order to protect themselves, their families and others from this disease."

The outbreak was first declared March 8 in a region east of Vancouver where immunization rates were low in school and religious groups.

The health authority then warned the virus was spreading and confirmed early last week that a student from BCIT in Burnaby, B.C., was infected.

​But Fraser Health says it has also been working with schools, community groups, churches and medical officials to control the virus and it has set up dedicated immunization clinics.

Van Buynder says those efforts are paying off because the virus is not multiplying beyond the specific population where it broke out.

With files from CBC News