YVR passengers may have been exposed to measles: BCCDC
YVR is seen from CTV's Chopper 9 on Monday, June 4, 2018. (Pete Cline / CTV Vancouver)
Published Tuesday, August 14, 2018 12:12PM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 15, 2018 7:38AM PDT
Travellers who passed through the Vancouver International Airport in late July and early August may have been exposed to measles, B.C. health officials are warning.
In an alert issued Tuesday morning, the province's Centre for Disease Control said an "infectious individual" travelled through the busy airport twice in recent weeks.
The person arrived at YVR from Tokyo on Air Canada flight 0004 at around 9:25 a.m. July 30. The passenger with measles then stayed at the airport until about 2:45 p.m. when they boarded Air Canada Jazz flight 8125 to Portland.
The infected traveller visited the Vancouver airport again on Aug. 6, arriving on Alaska Airlines flight 2536 from Oregon. Later that day, they departed on a Norwegian Cruise Lines ship headed to Alaska.
"Measles is a highly infectious disease transmitted by airborne spread," the BCCDC said. "Passengers, crew and travellers who may have come into contact with measles are asked to check their immunization status."
Health officials say they expect the majority of travellers are immune to the illness, but children under 12 months old and those who have not kept up-to-date on their immunizations could be at risk.
Symptoms of measles include fever, cough, a runny nose, red eyes and a rash that starts on the face and spread to the limbs, lasting at least three days.
"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 s/he will arrange to see you in a manner that avoids infecting others in the waiting room," the statement read.
It usually takes a week to 21 days for an infected person to show symptoms. In this case, that means if anyone was infected, they would start to feel ill by around Aug. 27.
According to the BCCDC, those born after 1970 will likely have received two doses of the measles vaccine. Those born before 1970 are likely to already be immune due to past infections.
Anyone who thinks they may have contracted the disease but are not showing symptoms can call 811 to speak to a nurse.
General information about measles and immunization is available on HealthLinkBC's website.