Number of measles cases in B.C. rises to 13
Published Sunday, February 24, 2019 4:08PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 24, 2019 9:20PM EST
A British Columbia health authority says that two new measles cases have been reported in the province, bringing the total number of cases so far this year to 13.
Vancouver Coastal Health says that the two new cases were both acquired abroad.
One person lives in the Vancouver area and was at the Little Ongpin Restaurant in Richmond on Feb. 16, and at Toys R Us in Richmond on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18.
The second person arrived at the Vancouver International Airport on a Philippines Airlines flight on Feb. 11, took the airport shuttle to Richmond’s La Quinta Inn and returned to the Vancouver airport the following day to board an Air Canada flight to Edmonton.
Earlier on Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada said that a person with a confirmed case of measles took Air Canada flight AC236 from Vancouver to Edmonton on Feb. 12.
The patient took the airport shuttle, visited the Walmart Supercentre in Leduc and stayed in the Stars Inn Hotel in Leduc before boarding Canadian North Flight 5T-444 to Inuvik, N.W.T., on Feb. 13.
“Individuals who were in the above-noted locations at the time frames indicated and who were born after 1970, and have NOT already had measles disease or have NOT received two doses of measles vaccine, may be at risk for developing measles,” the PHAC says.
Symptoms of measles may include a fever of 38.3 C or higher, a cough, runny nose, red eyes, and a blotchy red rash that appears three to seven days after the fever starts and begins behind the ears and on the face before spreading to the arms and legs, according to PHAC.
Endemic measles was eradicated in Canada in 1998 thanks to vaccination programs but it re-emerged in 2016 with an outbreak that brought 11 confirmed cases.
“Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads through the air. Close contact is not needed for transmission,” VCH said in a press release. “The disease can also be spread through sharing food, drinks, cigarettes, or kissing an infected person,” the release goes on.
According to VCH, people born before 1970 are likely immune to the disease.