Consider the odds

The odds are against you when you but a lottery ticket; but they are far, far worse id you aren't vaccinated against measles.

If you or your children haven’t been properly immunized against the measles here are some numbers that really deserve your urgent attention.

Your chances of hitting the right number on 6/49 are one in 14 million; in Lotto Max they are one in 28.6 million. Yet we still line up each week to buy in.

The Public Health Agency of Canada says the risk of brain infection from measles is one per 1,000 cases. The risk of death is about one in 3,000 cases.

Are you willing to line up and play if those are the odds?

Measles is one of the most contagious of the infectious diseases. It is spread through the air and can be passed on to others by an infectious person for one to two days before symptoms develop and up to four days after rash onset.

In an unvaccinated population, for every individual that has measles, another 15 individuals will get infected. With the flu the corresponding number is two.

BC Centre for Disease Control numbers show there were 17 confirmed measles cases in 2013, while 2014 has already seen several hundred cases being reported.

Those born before 1970 are considered immune, as measles exposure in childhood was quite common in the decades prior to routine immunization.

But for those born after 1970, the only way to achieve full protection against measles is immunization and it takes two doses of the vaccine. In B.C. children routinely receive theirs at 12 months of age and upon starting kindergarten.

Those who received only one dose are not considered to be immune. It is very important to verify that two doses of the vaccine have been received.

If you are not sure how to access your immunization record or to make an appointment for immunization contact your local public health centre.