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measles virus Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by the measles virus.Complications and death can result from a measles infection, most commonly in infants less than 12 months old and in adults. Since the introduction of the measles vaccine, rates of measles infections have dropped greatly.

A measles outbreak occurred in British Columbia, with 82 confirmed cases after the Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver in February 2010.  Sub-optimal vaccination rates contributed to transmission during the outbreak.  This was the largest measles outbreak in BC since 1997 when 247 cases were reported.

There were 10 confirmed measles cases among BC residents in 2011.  This was a large decrease from 2010, when there was a measles outbreak in BC, but slightly higher than the number of cases observed between 2002 and 2009 (zero to four cases per year).

Measles-Mumps-Rubella vaccine 2-dose coverage at the second birthday has ranged from 74% to 76% in BC for the 2007 to 2010 birth cohorts.
For more information about cases of measles in British Columbia see the most recent Annual Summary of Reportable Diseases.  

Information for Health Professionals

Last Updated: January 28, 2013