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Measles at Vancouver International Airport

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Update September 7: The BCCDC has received a report of a second B.C. measles case. An exposure alert related to this case has been issued by Fraser Heath for individuals who travelled on the BC Ferries sailing from Tsawwassen to Mayne Island on August 31 at 7 p.m. In addition, Island Health is warning that this same traveller is believed to have visited the Saturna Lighthouse Pub on Saturna Island, on September 3, between 5:30 and 7 p.m.

Update August 27: The BCCDC has received a report of one B.C. measles case which is compatible with acquisition of measles while at the cruise line terminal on August 6.  An exposure alert related to this case has been issued by Fraser Health for individuals who visited Moody Park Outdoor Pool, an outdoor swimming pool in New Westminster, on August 19 between1:30 and 4:30 p.m.

August 14 - Travellers are being alerted to one case of measles in an infectious individual who travelled through Vancouver International Airport (YVR) twice in recent weeks. 

Flight information:
  • July 30: Air Canada flight 0004 departing from Tokyo’s Narita International Airport (NRT) at 4:05 p.m. and arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 9:25 a.m.  The passenger with measles was at YVR prior to boarding the next flight.
  • July 30: Air Canada Jazz flight 8125 departing Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 1:50 p.m. and arriving at Portland International Airport (PDX) at 2:47 p.m.
  • Aug 6: Alaska Airlines flight 2536 departing Portland International Airport (PDX) at 9:45 a.m. and arriving at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 10:55 a.m.
The individual also travelled on a cruise ship to Alaska: 
  • Aug 6: Norwegian Cruise Lines (voyage number 2018080806), departed Vancouver at 4 p.m. with a destination of Seward, Alaska. 
Measles is a highly infectious disease transmitted by airborne spread. Passengers, crew and travellers who may have come into contact with measles are asked to check their immunization status. While it is expected that the majority of travellers will be immune to measles, some individuals may be susceptible, including infants less than one year old or people who have never been immunized against measles. 

If you become ill and suspect you may have measles, call your doctor and inform them that you may have been exposed to measles, so that s/he will arrange to see you in a manner that avoids infecting others in the waiting room.  

You can also call your local health unit and ask for the communicable disease nurse. To find a public health unit anywhere in the province, see the site finder on ImmunizeBC.ca

Symptoms of measles include:
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Rash that starts centrally including on the face, spreads to the limbs and lasts at least three days
Infected individuals are likely to develop symptoms within 7 to 21 days of being exposed. If a traveller has been infected with measles from this event, symptoms would develop by about August 27.

The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has issued an alert through the Canadian Network for Public Health Intelligence to inform Canadian and Pacific Northwest public health officials.

Individuals most at risk from measles are those who are completely unvaccinated against the disease including babies under one year of age. Individuals born after 1970 should have received two doses of a measles vaccine (often given as combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR) to be protected. Those who were born prior to 1970 are likely to be immune due to prior measles infection.

The BCCDC advises British Columbians to review their immunization status prior to travel. Measles has been on the resurgence for several years worldwide including Western Europe. The best time to protect yourself is before you travel. 

Those who are concerned about their potential measles exposure but have no symptoms can call 8-1-1 and speak to a nurse: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/services-and-resources/about-8-1-1

Information about measles and measles vaccination can be found athttp://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile14b.stm.

Find a public health unit anywhere in the province at: ImmunizeBC.ca

measles
 

 

 

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