Travelers are being warned after a person with measles flew from Beijing to Vancouver on April 4.
According to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the infected traveler was on board Air China/Air Canada Flight #CA 991/AC 6601 from Beijing to Vancouver on Saturday, April 4, arriving at YVR at approximately 12:15 p.m.
The health authority is now urging all passengers on board that flight to make sure they have been immunized against measles.
“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,” says Vancouver Coastal Health.
“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, and those born after 1970 should have two doses of MMR. These vaccines must be received after their first birthday to be effective.”
Passengers who develop symptoms such as fever, cough, runny nose, pink eye or a red rash are asked to see a doctor and call the doctor’s office before arriving to ensure the clinic can protect other patients. Passengers with symptoms should also report their illness to VCH Public Health by calling 604-675-3900.
VCH reports that a total of nine people have contracted measles stemming from a March 21 Air China flight.
“Measles is highly infectious and spread through the air. Measles can be a serious illness with complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions, deafness, or brain damage,” says VCH. “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.”