The BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) is alerting travellers about a potential exposure to measles while at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) on June 9 or travelling on two flights through YVR.
A passenger ill with measles was aboard the following flights and at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR):
- June 9: Air China Limited flight CA 0991 departing from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 15:25 and arriving Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 10:50.
- June 9: Vancouver airport terminal "Main Terminal" at approximately 10:50 with the path of travel through Canada Customs and Immigration area shortly thereafter.
- June 9: Air Canada flight AC 8572 departing from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 14:00 and arriving at Regina International Airport (YQR) at 17:00.
Passengers on the above two flights or at the YVR location at the times indicated may have been exposed to measles.
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 they can 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.
- Runny nose
- Red eyes
- Rash that starts centrally including on the face, spreads to the limbs and lasts at least three days
Non-immune exposed individuals can become infected by being in the same airspace as a measles case. If infected, they will 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 June 30.
Those who are concerned about their potential measles exposure but have no symptoms can call 8-1-1 and speak to a nurse.
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 and Southeast Asia, which are common travel destinations for British Columbians. The best time to protect yourself is before you travel.
Information about measles and measles vaccination can be found at: http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile14b.stm.