More and more measles outbreaks have been popping up throughout Vancouver. For the most part, the 13 cases that have been confirmed this year have stayed within the city. Now, it is believed that a case of measles that was originally in Vancouver has spread to another Canadian city through the Vancouver International Airport.
According to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), there have been 13 confirmed cases of measles in Vancouver since the beginning of this year. 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.
In a public statement, VCH has confirmed that a person infected with measles travelled through YVR. According to the statement, the person with measles was travelling through Richmond and YVR en route to Edmonton, followed by the Northwest Territories.
The infected individual arrived in Vancouver at around 4 PM on February 11 from Philippine Airline Flight. The infected traveler than left YVR on February 12 on Air Canada flight AC236 to Edmonton.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the infected individual is an 11-year-old unvaccinated Vancouver boy who was returning home from a vacation in Vietnam. The disease was acquired internationally and was also spread to several classmates and two of his siblings.
VCH, the Public Health Agency, and Alberta Health Service (AHS), are now asking individuals who may have been in the same location as the infected individual to monitor their symptoms for 21 days. A list of the boy's movements has been posted by VCH to ensure public safety.
Confirmed case of measles in Alberta, having travelled through the Edmonton international airport. Locations of potential exposure listed here @CityNewsYEG @660NEWS @BTCityNewsCGY #yeg pic.twitter.com/pzPP1Y7OFE— Carly Robinson (@CarlyDRobinson) February 24, 2019
Vancouver has a below average rate of vaccination for measles. According to VCH, in order to create herd immunity, a vaccination rate of 90% or higher must be obtained. Vancouver currently has an 83.1% vaccination rate for measles.
Due to a large number of measles outbreaks this year, free vaccines are now available. Those wishing to receive the vaccine can do so at the City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre, walk-in clinics, and some local community health centres. Pharmacists are also able to immunize adults and children five years of age or older.
A complete list of locations confirmed to have the vaccine is available on the Vancouver Coastal Health website. Anyone who suspects they may be infected with measles should contact a healthcare provider immediately.
Symptoms of measles include red eyes, runny nose, fever, cough, and rash. This virus is highly infectious and you do not have to be in close contact with someone who is infected to contract it. According to Vancouver Coastal Health, you could spend only minutes in the same room with someone and contract the virus.
Be sure to visit the Vancouver Coast Health website for more information on measles and its signs and symptoms.