In British Columbia, Canada, Fraser Health is warning any passengers who were on the BC Ferries sailing from Tsawwassen to Mayne Island on Friday, August 31st at 7 p.m. of a possible exposure to measles.
In addition, Island Health is warning that this same traveller is believed to have visited the Saturna Lighthouse Pub on Saturna Island, on Monday September 3rd, between 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.
A case of measles has been confirmed aboard this vessel. The case was infectious on the voyage, potentially exposing other passengers to measles. Measles is a highly infectious disease and unimmunized people are at risk. This case is related to a measles alert issued for Maple Ridge Secondary School.
The incubation period (time to develop symptoms after being exposed) for measles is about 10 days but can range from 7 – 21 days (Sept 07-21). 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 ferry during this time period, check your immunization status. You are most at risk of measles infection if you are completely unvaccinated against measles,” said Fraser Health Medical Health Officer Dr. Ingrid Tyler. “If you develop any of the symptoms and have a fever, call your doctor and inform them that you may have been exposed to measles. They will arrange to see you in a manner that avoids infecting other patients in the waiting room.”
Also at risk are infants under 1 year old who have never had measles disease. If you were 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 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).
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