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Cases of measles rising

UPDATE: 5:20 p.m.

Two new cases of measles were reported in British Columbia on Sunday, as officials in Alberta and the Northwest Territories warned that someone may have exposed others to the infection as they travelled.

A spokesman with the Vancouver International Airport said the first case arrived on a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila on Feb. 11, and another person with measles departed Vancouver on an Air Canada flight to Edmonton the following day.

Chris Devauld did not know whether the passenger on the Philippine Airlines flight left Vancouver on another flight or stayed, nor did he know whether the Edmonton-bound passenger had arrived in Vancouver from another destination.

"Frankly, people shouldn't be getting measles in the 21st century in British Columbia and we have the means to deal with that," B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said at a news conference Sunday where he stressed the need for people to be immunized.

"I don't think, in my view anyway, enough people are immunized in B.C."

Health officials in both Alberta and the Northwest Territories advised people who aren't vaccinated for measles and who may have been on board flights, in shuttles, at stores or hotels where the affected person was present to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Measles at first presents with flu-like symptoms, but then a fever develops followed by the distinctive rash.

"Measles is an extremely contagious disease, spread easily through the air. There is no treatment for measles; however, it can be prevented through immunization," the AHS news release said.

- with files from the Canadian Press


UPDATE: 2:20 p.m.

Two more people in Vancouver have become infected with measles after a contagious person travelled through Vancouver International Airport.

Damien Healy, a spokesman for N.W.T. Health and Social Services, confirms that a person with measles who passed through Vancouver and Edmonton before flying to other destinations in the North is the same person.

There was no immediate word on where the person had been before Vancouver.

Health officials in B.C. have been investigating nearly a dozen measles cases in the Vancouver area.

Many of them have been at two French-language schools in Vancouver, a cluster that began after an unvaccinated B.C. child contracted the disease during a family trip to Vietnam.

Vancouver Coastal Health announced Sunday in a tweet there are two new cases of people who were infected while travelling.

Health officials in both Alberta and the Northwest Territories advised people who aren't vaccinated for measles and who may have been on board flights, in shuttles, at stores or hotels where the affected person was present to monitor themselves for symptoms.

Measles at first presents with flu-like symptoms, but then a fever develops followed by the distinctive rash.

- with files from the Canadian Press


ORIGINAL: 1:50 p.m.

Two new measles cases have been diagnosed in Vancouver, bringing the number to 12 people with measles.

Vancouver Coastal Health announced on Sunday afternoon that the two new cases are not related to the outbreak involving the schools.

“The two people got the infection while traveling,” says a spokesperson.

Vancouver International Airport tweeted that if you were at the airport on Feb. 11 or 12 and are experiencing symptoms to please contact 811 and speak with a nurse. 

More information about the two cases is expected to be released on Sunday afternoon.

Alberta Health Services announced Sunday that an infected person travelled from Vancouver International Airport, stopped in Edmonton and flew to Inuvik. 

Anyone who visited the same locations on the same day may have been exposed to measles.

On Friday, Vancouver Coastal medical health officer Dr. Althea Hayden said nine of the cases were clearly associated with schools that were at the centre of the original outbreak this month, but they don't know where the other person contracted the disease.

A number of specific public venues near Vancouver where people could have been exposed to measles have now been identified and listed here

Measles at first presents with flu-like symptoms, coughing, a runny nose and red eyes, but then a fever develops, followed by the distinctive rash.

People who think they have measles are advised to stay home and call Health Link at 811 before visiting any health care facility or provider.

For more information visit this link.



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