A Burnaby resident who travelled abroad to the Philippines, has been confirmed to have the measles infection.

Surrey, BC – A new case of measles infection has been confirmed in the Lower Mainland. Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities have determined the infection was acquired by a Burnaby resident who travelled abroad to the Philippines. Public Health officials from both health authorities are following up directly with those people who are known to have been exposed to the virus.

Members of the public may have been exposed to measles if they were on Philippines Airlines Flight PR116, arriving in Vancouver on July 23rd, 2019, or if they spent any time at the following public locations between the specific times listed below:

Date  Time Location
July 23, 2019 4:30 p.m. - 7:20 p.m. International arrivals at Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
July 23, 2019 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.  Park and ride shuttle YVR Airport

People who are at risk of getting measles are those who have never had measles disease and those who have not had two doses of a measles vaccine. For those people who are not fully protected against measles and may have been exposed, Public Health officials are recommending 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 be providing free measles vaccine at the following locations to those exposed at the airport or on the flight who are at risk of getting measles:

  • Vancouver Coastal Health: City Centre Urgent Primary Care Centre, 1290 Hornby St, Vancouver (Hours: Mon.-Sat., 8 am to 10 pm; Sun, 9 am to 5 pm) Phone: 604-416-1811.
  • Fraser Health: New Westminster Public Health Unit, #218, 610 – 6th Street, New Westminster (Hours: Fri., July 26, 3 pm to 7 pm; Sat., July 27, 9 am to 4 pm) Phone: 604-807-1621.

For people exposed, they should monitor for any symptoms of measles that develop up to three weeks after being exposed. Symptoms of measles include fever, dry cough, runny nose, and red eyes; followed a few days later by a rash that starts at the hairline and spreads rapidly down to the rest of the body.

If you develop symptoms of measles, please contact your health care provider before you visit them so they can take precautions to prevent spreading measles to others. 

The measles vaccine is provided free at public health units and certain family doctors and walk-in clinics. Pharmacists can immunize adults and children over five years old. Please call ahead to ensure vaccine is available at your preferred location. 

For general information about measles visit www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/measles.

The Province launched the measles immunization catch-up program, from April to June 2019, to immunize B.C. children who have not previously been immunized against measles and those who may not have received both recommended doses.During the period April 1 to June 30, 27,747 doses of measles-containing vaccines were administered by health authorities to kindergarten to Grade 12 students. In July 2019, the Province implemented the mandatory reporting of students’ immunization status through the Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation. To learn more about the Vaccination Status Reporting Regulation, visit: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/vaccination-status-reporting 

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