New case of measles arrived through Vancouver International Airport

Valerie Leung

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A new case of measles infection has been confirmed by health officials in the Lower Mainland.

According to a news release, a Burnaby resident, who travelled abroad to the Philippines, had been infected.

measles exposure / measles vaccinations
Red rashes on the palm of the hand / Shutterstock

Officials from Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities are “following up directly with people who may have been exposed to the virus.”

Fraser Health said that “members of the public may have been exposed to measles if they were on Philippines Airlines Flight PR116, arriving in Vancouver on July 23, 2019, or if they spent any time at the following public locations:

July 23 from 4:30 to 7:20 p.m. at the International arrivals at Vancouver International Airport.
July 23 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the park and ride shuttle to YVR airport.

People who have never had measles disease and who have not had two doses of a measles vaccine are at risk of getting measles.

Public Health officials recommend the public, who are not protected against measles and may have been exposed, to do the following:

If you were born in 1970 or later and have not had two doses of measles vaccine, you should get a booster dose of measles vaccine, ideally within three days of being exposed. Measles vaccine is provided free of charge.

Certain people should not get the measles vaccine. These include babies less than six months of age, pregnant women, and people with certain immune conditions. If you, or your child, are in one of these groups, please call our Public Health team as soon as possible and no later than six days after being exposed. You may be advised that you, or your child, receive a medication that can prevent measles disease. This is also provided free of charge.

Public Health will provide free measles vaccine at the following locations to those who were exposed at the airport or on the flight:

Vancouver Coastal Health: City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre, 1290 Hornby St, Vancouver (Hours: Mon.-Sat., 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sun, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Phone: 604-416-1811.

Fraser Health: New Westminster Public Health Unit, #218, 610 – 6th Street, New Westminster (Hours: July 26, 3 to 7 p.m.; July 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Phone: 604-807-1621.

For people who may be exposed, health officials ask that they monitor for any symptoms of measles that develop up to three weeks after being exposed.

Symptoms include fever, dry cough, runny nose and red eyes; followed by a rash that starts at the hairline and spreads down the body.