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Measles alert: Japan Airlines flight from Tokyo to Vancouver

Travellers are being alerted to one case of measles in an infectious individual who travelled from Tokyo to Vancouver, B.C. on a Japan Airlines flight.
Japan Airlines – JL018 Departing Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan on April 13, 2019 at 6:33 p.m. Arriving Vancouver International Airport, Vancouver on April 13, 2019 at 11:01 a.m.
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Travellers on this flight as well as those in proximity to the case who travelled through YVR on Saturday April 13th may have been exposed. Some potentially exposed passengers or flight crew travelled on to other destinations including within Canada.

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.

Measles is a highly infectious disease transmitted by airborne spread. Travellers on one or both of these flights 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.

Symptoms of measles include:

  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red eyes
  • Fever

Rash that starts centrally including on the face, spreads to the limbs and lasts at least three days

The incubation period (time to develop symptoms after being exposed) for measles ranges from 7 to 21 days. If a traveller has been infected with measles from this event, symptoms would develop by about May 4th.

Measles can be a serious infection and is very infectious to others. If you become ill with any of the above symptoms 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

Individuals most at risk from measles are those who are completely unvaccinated against the disease (including babies under one year of age) and have never been infected previously. 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, and those who have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine after the 1st birthday should also be adequately protected against 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. 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 at:

http://www.bccdc.ca/about/news-stories/stories/measles-information-for-british-columbians

http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile14b.stm

http://www.vch.ca/public-health/health-topics-a-z/topics/measles  


 
 

 

 

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