A local health agency is emphasizing vaccinations are the best way to keep measles away.

Although there are no reported cases of measles in the area, Marianne Rock, the Manager of the Health Protection Division of the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge Health Unit, stands by the idea that the best way to keep it that way is vaccination.

My Haliburton Now.com spoke with Rock about the spread of the virus, and she says it can be concerning for parents and community members because of how easily it’s spread. She says “the issue is that measles is one of the most contagious vaccine-preventable infections in the world,” she goes on to say “it’s spread in the air, from person to person… but the issue is if you share the same air space with someone for even up to two hours, you can get it that way.”

Rock pointed out that currently there are no cases of measles in the area, but emphasized that the number one line of defence is the measles vaccine. Rock says that after two doses you are 97 per cent protected from the virus. She says “because of the way it’s spread, that is the best way to protect yourself.”

Rock explains that she “can see some concern in that” talking about parents not wanting to send their children to school for fear of contracting the virus, but she reiterates that there is no measles activity in the area and “generally our vaccine coverage is relatively good.”

One thing that Rock touched on was the concept of “herd immunity” which she says is the idea that you do not need a vaccine because the vast majority around you have already been immunized. She says “in saying that, the best protection is through vaccinations.”

According to Rock, the health unit is encouraging anyone that has not vaccinated their children to give them a call so they can talk to that parent about the best course of action.