Measles suspected on Vancouver flights

Henrietta Brewer
March 4, 2017

Alberta Health Services (AHS) issued a public alert today (March 3) that a person who traveled on a flight from Vancouver to Edmonton has been confirmed to have had a case of measles.

The arriving China Airlines Flight C-123 from Taipei landed in Vancouver at 6:10 p-m, while the departing WestJet Flight W-S-186 to Edmonton took off at 10:20 p-m. It arrived on February 25 at Edmonton International Airport (YEG).

Officials have confirmed that a passenger who left Vancouver on February 24 aboard WestJet flight WS 186 was infected.

Officials say people who were in Edmonton International Airport shortly after midnight until 3:30 a.m. on February 25 are also at risk.

The health authority also said anyone who was at the airport's domestic terminal and customs area that night between 6 p.m. and 12:20 a.m. PT may also be at risk.

Gustafson says anyone born after 1970 without a measles vaccination to watch for symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, pink-eye and a red rash.

Most residents of the province are immune to the virus because they've had the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine, or had the illness as a child.

"This case associated with worldwide travel is a reminder that all travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with their measles and other vaccinations before travelling".

AHS said measles is extremely contagious, and is spread easily through the air - there is no treatment, but it can be prevented through immunization. "Some young adults and those born outside Canada may not be completely immunized against measles".

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