A case of measles has been confirmed in Yorkton, Sask., and health authorities are issuing an exposure alert for people who may have been on one of three flights or at specific airport locations in Vancouver and Regina.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) said the case involves an infant traveller who flew from Vancouver to Regina after overseas travel.
The infant is “doing well,” according to SHA, and is too young to receive the full vaccination for measles.
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Two international flights and a domestic flight – all on June 9 – are covered by the alert, which was also shared by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC).
The first is Air China CA 0948 that left Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport at 2:50 a.m. local time and arrived at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 11:25 a.m. local time.
The SHA said the passenger with measles was at PEK prior to boarding the next flight.
The second is Air China CA 0991 that left PEK at 3:25 p.m. local time and arrived at Vancouver International Airport at 10:50 a.m. PDT.
The final flight is Air Canada AC 8572 that departed Vancouver at 2:00 p.m. PDT and arrived in Regina at 5:00 p.m. CT.
Vancouver travellers warned
The BCCDC and the SHA said the alert also applies to the main terminal building at Vancouver International Airport, specifically the path through the Canada Customs and Immigration area from the time the flight from Beijing landed and “shortly thereafter.”
It also covers anyone at the arrivals and baggage area at the Regina airport between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. CT.
There is also an alert for anyone at the Yorkton Regional Health Centre from 5 p.m. on June 9 to 3:40 a.m. on June 10.
Measles is a highly infectious airborne disease. Those most at risk are individuals 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.
People born prior to 1970 are likely to be immune due to prior measles infection.
Measles symptoms typically develop seven to 21 days after exposure. Health officials said symptoms include: fever, cough, running nose, red eyes, and a rash starting centrally that spreads to the limbs and lasts at least three days.
SHA officials said passengers, crew, travellers and area residents who were on one of those flights, in the airports, or at the health centre during the listed times, and are unsure of their immunization against measles, should contact their local health office.
Anyone believing they may have measles should also contact their health care provider before seeking treatment to avoid exposing others in waiting rooms to the disease.
—With files from Sean Boynton