Dozens of moms, babies exposed to measles virus at B.C. hospital
Published Thursday, August 8, 2013 5:47PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 8, 2013 10:24PM EDT
ABBOTSFORD, B.C. -- The Fraser Health Authority says as many as 60 newborns and their mothers were exposed to the measles virus by a visitor to the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.
Staff are now contacting the affected families to offer them treatment to lower the chances of infection.
Chief medical health officer Dr. Paul Van Buynder says the exposure of the children is a very concerning situation.
He says newborns are vulnerable to the disease because they are too young to respond to vaccination, and some may not have received protection from their mothers while in the womb.
Van Buynder says it is important for people to get vaccinated against the very contagious illness that, in extreme cases, can cause brain damage, blindness and deafness.
The health authority says the eastern part of the Fraser Valley tends to have relatively low immunization rates, and the area has seen several clusters of the measles virus in previous years.