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Measles test results expected within two weeks

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COURTENAY, B.C- It remains to be seen if there is an actual measles case in the Comox Valley.

That’s according to the Valley’s medical health officer, Dr. Charmaine Enns.

The newsroom spoke with Enns after a possible case was mentioned in a statement attributed to Dr. Rachel McKenzie, who works at the 5th Street Family Practice in downtown Courtenay.

Speaking to the newsroom and in her statement, McKenzie had indicated that there was a suspected measles case at the clinic on Thursday morning, though it was deemed highly unlikely to be measles.

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“In an abundance of caution, our clinic took measures at the time the patient was seen to minimize any potential risks to anyone attending within a four-hour window of the affected individual,” said McKenzie, to the newsroom.

“In the unlikely event that this individual is found to have measles, affected individuals will be notified.”

On Friday, Enns re-stated that there were no lab-confirmed cases of measles on Vancouver Island, though she wouldn’t comment on a specific case.

“In public health, we take reportable conditions very seriously,” said Enns.

“We would definitely be reporting out if there was a message to the public about a reportable condition, and especially if it related to something as serious as measles.”

She did touch on how long a test would take to determine measles.

“For most lab testing, depending on what’s being tested and what condition we’re looking for, it can take a week or two to get results back,” said Enns.

“We make decisions on any particular case on the balance of probability on is this a possible case, even before we get a lab result. We will make recommendations to patients, or families, if it’s children involved, about prevention and protection interventions while we await lab results if we think there is a high enough suspicious, depending on what the condition is.”

If any public health concerns do arise, they will be shared with the public.

Enns also encouraged residents to get vaccinated.

“If you’re not vaccinated, get it,” said Enns.

“And you’ll never have to worry about measles again.”

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