Editor’s note: Since this story was published, Island Health has confirmed the latest expected measles case has come back negative and the sites listed below are no longer a risk. For more information, go to Island Health confirms no new measles exposure.
Island Health confirmed a possible measles exposure at Selkirk Montessori School on Monday.
The health authority contacted parents of students at the Victoria West school, informing them of a potential exposure during the week of April 8-12.
Penny Barner, executive director of Selkirk Montessori, said the school received an email last night alerting them there was ‘a high probability’ that a sibling of a student may have been exposed to measles. The school then contacted Island Health and began the a measles exposure protocol.
To prevent further transmission, unvaccinated students will not be able to return to the school until May 3 since symptoms can take up to 21 days to appear.
Students who were vaccinated outside the province or country will have to have their vaccination records verified by Island Health before they can return.
Island Health is asking that any other families of children who have not been vaccinated contact the Island Health Communicable Disease unit at 250-388-2225 as soon as possible for additional guidance.
Of the 300 students at the school, Barner said the vast majority are vaccinated and the school is operating as normal.
“I want to thank the families for their cooperation,” she said. “The vast majority have been understanding and we have been getting lots of support from them.
It’s really not our choice, this is not something we can control, so it’s nice to have families cooperating.”
Island Health is also alerting the public of possible exposure at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens on April 10 from 3 p.m.-5 p.m., and at the Uptown Walmart Supercentre in Saanich on April 11 and 12 from 2 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
If a measles case is confirmed, it will be the seventh confirmed infection on South Vancouver Island.
The previous exposure was at the Pennbridge building at the Royal Oak shopping complex on March 26 or 27 between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
Symptoms of measles include fever, runny nose, sore throat, cough, diarrhea and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.
Anyone who develops symptoms is encouraged to contact their health care provider before visiting the clinic so precautions can be made to prevent transmission.