There are two more cases of confirmed measles in the Lower Mainland, according to the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
The health authority says the new cases are not related to the outbreak involving two French schools. The two new people with the infection contracted it while travelling.
A spokesman with the Vancouver International Airport said the first case arrived on a Philippine Airlines flight from Manila on Feb. 11, and another person with measles departed Vancouver on an Air Canada flight to Edmonton the following day.
Chris Devauld did not know whether the passenger on the Philippine Airlines flight left Vancouver on another flight or stayed, nor did he know whether the Edmonton-bound passenger had arrived in Vancouver from another destination.
B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said the news was troubling.
“Frankly, people shouldn’t be getting measles in the 21st century in British Columbia,” Dix said at a media conference Sunday afternoon.
“It is important for everybody to be immunized.”
According to Vancouver Coastal Health, there are now 13 confirmed cases of measles in the Vancouver region.
Ten are related to the school outbreak but are not linked to the two newly identified cases. A third travel-related case was identified in Vancouver earlier in February.
The health authority said one of the two new cases is the same traveller that Alberta Health Services issued an alert about on Sunday.
Vancouver Coastal Health said the two new infected persons visited the following locations:
- Feb. 11: Philippine Airlines Flight PR 116, landed at YVR at about 4 p.m.
- Feb. 11: Shuttle Bus from YVR to La Quinta Inn. Richmond, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m..
- Feb. 12: Shuttle Bus from YVR to La Quinta Inn, Richmond, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
- Feb. 12: YVR, Air Canada domestic departures area, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Feb. 16: Little Ongpin Restaurant, Richmond, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
- Feb. 17: Toys R Us, Lansdowne Centre, Richmond, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Feb. 18: Toys R Us, Lansdowne Centre, Richmond, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The health authority is asking anyone who was at the listed locations to monitor for symptoms up to 21 days after they may have been exposed.
Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes, followed a few days later by a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the chest.
Dix said health authorities across Canada are working together and trying to give people as much information as possible.
Measles is a highly infectious disease that spreads through the air. It can remain airborne for two hours. According to a statement from Vancouver Coastal Health, it is too late for the majority of people who may have been in contact with confirmed cases to take preventative action.
Anyone with questions about immunization is asked to call HealthLink BC at 811.