Published: Sat, February 23, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

B.C. working on mandatory registration following measles outbreak

B.C. working on mandatory registration following measles outbreak

Vancouver Coastal Health says it has dealt with nine confirmed cases of measles in 2019, eight of them linked to a trio of Francophone schools in Vancouver.

"At this time there are no lab-confirmed cases of Measles on Vancouver Island", said the organization on Facebook.

Pan, who four years ago successfully led an effort to get rid of personal and religious vaccine exemptions in his state, said he thought national leaders might take a different approach than what Gottlieb suggests to increase vaccination rates.

If no new cases of measles are reported by March 7, everyone will be allowed to return to school. It can also be fatal. The virus is spread through air-borne droplets after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Since the outbreak, VCH staff was able to confirm that 95.5 per cent of students at École Jules-Verne and 94 per cent at École Rose-Des-Vents had received at least one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.

To help prevent further spreading of the disease, health officials ask that people who think they might have measles call their doctor or health care provider before going to a hospital or doctor's office. She is, however, in favour of making parents provide proof of vaccination when registering a child for school - meaning that parents would have to either declare that they are choosing not to vaccinate, or provide their child's vaccination record.

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Meanwhile Thursday, a petition calling on the B.C. government to make it mandatory for children attending public schools to be vaccinated - except for medical-based reasons - reached nearly 35,500 signatures on the website change.org.

Given that cases tend to come in waves, Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for Gov. Jay Inslee, said there is not an end date for the state of emergency he declared on January 25, which allows Washington to get resources from other states.

Almost all states allow children to attend school even if their parents opt out of vaccines.

"I think policy makers can move forward knowing for the most part there is some consensus on this issue".

"Traditionally, school entry requirements have been the role of the states, so there might be a constitutional challenge if the federal government tried to mandate by law those school requirements", he said. Melnick says restaurants are still safe for eating because those inspections will still get done, but they could be carried out slower.

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