April 8, 2015 12:45 pm
Updated: April 8, 2015 10:14 pm

Passengers on another flight from Beijing at risk of measles: Vancouver Coastal Health

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WATCH: Vancouver Coastal Health has issued another warning about measles that might have come to BC on a flight from China

Passengers on yet another flight from Beijing into Vancouver may be at risk of contracting measles.

Vancouver Coastal Health says a person diagnosed with measles over the weekend exposed people on Air China/Air Canada Flight #CA 991/AC 6601 arriving at Vancouver International Airport at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, April 4.

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Anyone who was on this flight and is not up to date with their immunizations is asked to get a measles vaccination from their family doctor, public health units or walk-in clinic as soon as possible.

“We have nine cases in total, all related to that (first) flight,” said medical health officer Reka Gustafson on Wednesday.

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 vaccine if they have not had measles, and those born after 1970 should have two doses.

Passengers on this flight should also watch for symptoms like fever, cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, or pink eye and a red rash until April 25.

READ MORE: Measles outbreak – 5 questions and answers

The health authority says passengers who develop these symptoms should see a doctor and call the doctor’s office before going. Passengers with symptoms should also report their illness to VCH Public Health by calling 604-675-3900.

Gustafson said the latest case was discovered early in its gestation, with fewer symptoms.

“I’m hoping that with early intervention, we will have fewer transmissions.”

All people were either on the original Air China Flight CA991 on March 21 or were in contact with someone who had been on that flight. The latest confirmed case involved a student at Carver Christian High School in Burnaby.

Measles is highly infectious and spread through the air. It can be a serious illness with complications such as inflammation of the brain, convulsions, deafness or brain damage.

China has had an increase in measles cases this year, despite being a highly vaccinated population, Gustafson said.

She said the increase was another indicator of the infectious nature of measles.

“A single individual with the disease can infect up to 15 to 18 people,” she said.

Gustafson ruled out screening travellers coming to Canada for measles, saying that would likely be ineffective.

 

– With files from The Canadian Press

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