Vancouver outbreak of measles may have spread to Edmonton

Person with confirmed case of measles flew in, out of Alberta

Public warned after airline passenger with measles flies through Vancouver and Edmonton airports.

Over the weekend, Alberta Health Services issued a warning to the public of possible exposure to measles, after an airline passenger with the infectious disease travelled from Vancouver to Edmonton.

Health officials in Alberta and the Northwest Territories are warning that a person with measles passed through Vancouver and Edmonton before flying to other destinations in the North.

"We are asking Albertans if you were in those places at those particular times, that you monitor your health, you monitor yourself for any new symptoms up to about March 5", said Gloria Keays, a medical officer with AHS, at a Sunday news conference.

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that spreads through the air by coughing and sneezing, as well by respiratory secretions causing fever and a red rash on the skin, typically occurring in childhood.

Via Vancouver Coastal HealthConfirmed case of measles in Alberta, having travelled through the Edmonton global airport.

Fraser Health, along with VCH continues to remind people who are not immunized or are unsure of their immunity to contact their family doctor, a walk-in clinic, a pharmacy, urgent primary care centre or public health office to book a vaccination appointment.

Keays said Health Link will assess a patient's symptoms and begin the next steps of support.

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

Measles is considered extremely contagious. While it has mostly stayed in and around the Vancouver area, a traveller with measles recently hopped on a plane in the Vancouver Internal Airport, thus spreading the disease.

Due to confidentiality laws, Keays could not provide any details about the infected passenger including whether or not they were vaccinated.

AHS also says the MMR vaccine is free in Alberta.

Vancouver has a below average rate of vaccination for measles. "We now offer a second dose of vaccines to children in Alberta and that combined with the first dose gives you a 99 per cent protection".

Waters said there's not a large population that are not vaccinated. The national average is 95 per cent.

Alberta Health Services says in a news release that an individual with a lab-confirmed case of measles took an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Edmonton on February 12, then rode in an airport shuttle to a hotel in nearby Leduc. It said earlier in the day on Twitter the two news cases were not related to others connected to schools in the region.

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