"I think we need to take steps in the future, but the step we can all take right now is to have children immunized, and that's what I'm encouraging everyone to do", he said. However, parents can immunize their infants before the one-year mark, but because the risk of contracting measles in Vancouver is still low, Hayden doesn't recommend early vaccination, in part because it throws off a child's immunization schedule, and can result in missed vaccinations later on.
When an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes, the virus spreads through the air and can survive in small droplets in the air for several hours.
Symptoms of measles begin seven to 18 days after exposure, and include fever, cough, runny nose, and a red blotchy rash that develops on the face and spreads down the body.
He said he hoped that the measles outbreak would make state officials realize that they needed to get stricter on exemptions.
An outbreak of measles in B.C.is causing the P.E.I.
"For travelers we are recommending that prior to traveling that they're vaccinated for the flu and there is a combination of not only the measles vaccination but also with mumps and rubella", said Denorcey.
VANCOUVER-No new cases of the measles have been reported in Vancouver since February 15, and health officials say the transmission of the disease was mostly limited to a small network at two public schools. "There have been studies that have shown that it alienates more people and it makes people less willing to be immunized when they feel they're being forced to do it".
"If you've made the choice to not vaccinate your children, then you should give parents the choice to not let their children near kids who have the potential to infect them or get sick", said parent Naomi Lee.
"What we are doing now is health center-based, which is phase one of the immunization for children from six-month-old to five-year-old; school-based, which is phase two for children above five-year-old; and home or health center-based, which is the third phase for adult", he added.
Ontario and New Brunswick have legislation in place requiring proof of immunization for children starting school. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who also is a pediatrician, has been a champion of vaccination laws, including the 2015 California law mandating that parents vaccinate their school-age children.
"When people get vaccinated, they are protecting themselves and their community".
Katie Clunn of Maple Ridge, B.C., who started the online petition, said vaccination is not only about protecting one's own children, but "others as well".
"We don't want to cause more panic than is necessary".