SURREY– Fraser Health is warning any passengers who were on West Jet flight WS450 leaving Abbotsford at 5:49am and arriving in Calgary at 7:50am on March 22, 2017 of a possible exposure to measles.
A case of measles has been confirmed aboard this flight. The case was infectious on the flight, potentially exposing other passengers to measles. Measles is a highly infectious disease and unimmunized people are at risk.
The incubation period (time to develop symptoms after being exposed) for measles is about 10 days but can range from 7 – 21 days (March 29- April 12). Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, and red eyes, followed by a rash that starts centrally including on the face and spreads to the limbs and lasts at least three days. Measles can also be a serious infection with more severe illness.
If you travelled on this flight or were at the airport during this time period, check your immunization status. You are most at risk of measles infection from this flight if you are completely unvaccinated against measles (including infants under 1 year old) and have never had measles disease. If you are born in 1970 and later, to be protected against measles you should have received two doses of measles-containing vaccine (often given as combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine or MMR). Those born prior to 1970 are likely to be immune to measles through a prior measles infection. If you become ill with any of the above symptoms and fever, and suspect you may have measles, call your doctor and inform them that you may have been exposed to measles, so that s/he will arrange to see you in a manner that avoids infecting other patients in the waiting room.
If you are unsure about your immunization status, please consult with your doctor or local public health unit for advice. If you were born in 1970 or later and have not had two doses of measles-containing vaccine, please contact your doctor or your pharmacist (for adults and kids over 5 years old).
More information about measles disease can be found here and more information about measles vaccination can be found here.
What is measles?
Measles can be a serious illness with complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions, deafness, or brain damage. In Canada, it is estimated that one in 3,000 people who are infected with measles will die. Infants under one year of age and adults who have other health concerns may have more severe illness.