Health officials warn Albertans about measles exposure on flight
Colleen Schmidt, CTV Calgary
Published Friday, January 17, 2014 11:52AM MST
Last Updated Friday, January 17, 2014 6:28PM MST
Saskatchewan’s chief health officer has confirmed a case of measles in an unimmunized baby who travelled on a flight from the Philippines into Canada and says other passengers may have been exposed.
Dr. Judy MacDonald with Alberta Health Services said ""measles is a highly infectious virus. It's something that's spread through respiratory secretions and those particles are so small they can stay in the air for up to 2 hours after someone leaves a space".
The infant was on a flight with family from the Philippines to Vancouver on January 2, 2014, and then continued on to Calgary and Regina on January 7.
The baby is being treated and is recovering.
The family travelled on the following flights:
Thursday, January 2, 2014:
Philippine Airlines PR116 - Manila to Vancouver (Arrived 16:30)
Tuesday, January 7, 2014:
West Jet 544 - Vancouver to Calgary (Departed 08:00, Arrived 10:25)
WestJet 314 - Calgary to Regina (Departed 12:05, Arrived 14:30)
Health officials say anyone who develops symptoms should call their doctor or Healthlink for medical advice especially if they have not been immunized. They are advised not to go to a clinic or hospital right away since measles is contagious. Symptoms can include high fever, cough, runny nose, and a rash.
“Measles cases are quite uncommon in Saskatchewan, but this situation underscores the importance of vaccinations,” said Deputy Chief Medical Health Officer Denise Werker “The risk of exposure to highly contagious diseases can be particularly high during busy travel seasons, for people travelling within Canada as well as to and from countries experiencing measles outbreaks.”
Health officials in B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan say they are monitoring the situation.
For more information on measles, visit the Alberta Health Services website.
WesJet says if it’s deemed to be a safety issue, a passenger can be pulled from a flight, however if there's no visible signs for agents then there's nothing they can do.
The airline will not be contacting passengers.