Passengers on a flight from Beijing to Vancouver could be at risk of getting measles. An individual who was on Air China flight CA991 from Beijing arriving in Vancouver March 3rd at 9:30 a.m. developed symptoms of measles after their arrival. This person was infectious during the flight.
Anyone on this flight, or who was in the international arrivals area at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) around 9:30 a.m. March 3rd, should make sure they are up to date with their measles vaccinations. Those who are not fully immunized can get a vaccine for free at their doctor’s office, local community health centre
or at a walk-in-clinic.
- runny nose
- conjunctivitis, or pink eye
- a red rash
People who develop these symptoms should see a doctor. Please call your doctor’s office before you go, and tell them that you think you or your child may have measles. This will allow your doctor to take precautions to protect other patients. Please also call VCH Public Health at 604.675.3900 to report your illness.
The measles, mumps and rubella vaccine, or MMR, which most people in B.C. have received, is safe and effective. Some young adults and those born outside Canada may not be completely immunized against measles.
- People born before 1957 are considered immune to measles, and do not need a vaccine
- Those born between 1957 and 1970 should have one dose of MMR if they have not had measles
- Those born after 1970 should have two doses of MMR
- These vaccines must be received after their first birthday to be effective
Measles is highly infectious and spread through the air from someone who is infected coughs or sneezes. Measles can be a serious illness with complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions, deafness, or brain damage. In Canada one person in every 3,000 with measles dies from their infection. Infants under one year of age and adults tend to have more severe illness than older children.
Cases of measles in international travellers remind us that all travellers should ensure they are up-to-date with all of their vaccinations. VCH operates travel clinics in Vancouver and Richmond; call 604.736.9244 for an appointment.