Exposure alert issued after measles case confirmed in Yorkton

The Saskatchewan Health Authority has confirmed a case of measles in Yorkton.

SHA says the case was found in an infant traveller returning from a trip overseas.  The authority adds that the traveler did fly into the Regina International Airport.

An exposure alert has now been issued for other travelers on specific flights and through specific airports.

The exposure areas include:

• June 9, 2019: Air China Limited flight CA 0948 departing from Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) at 02:50 and arriving at Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 11:25. The passenger with measles was at PEK prior to boarding the next flight.

• June 9, 2019: Air China Limited flight CA 0991 departing from Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK) at 15:25 and arriving Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 10:50.

• June 9, 2019: Persons in Vancouver airport terminal “Main Terminal” at approximately 10:50 with the path of travel through Canada Customs and Immigration area shortly thereafter.

• June 9, 2019: Air Canada flight AC 8572 departing from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) at 14:00 and arriving at Regina International Airport (YQR) at 17:00.

• June 9, 2019: Persons at Regina airport arrivals and baggage area between 17:00 and 20:00 hours.

• June 9, 2019: Between the hours of 17:00 hours – 03:40 hours June 10, 2019 – Yorkton Regional Health Centre.

SHA says those involved in the areas of exposure could qualify for preventative treatment.

Dr. Mark Voogt, who is the Medical Health Officer for Moose Jaw, is the public health lead on the issue. He explained that the disease itself is a contagious organism, but the family travelling straight to the health centre in Yorkton from the Regina airport may have reduced the number of at-risk persons.

“I think it may be limited in its impact and severity,” said Voogt during a media scrum at the Wascana Rehabilitation Centre. “We have established that the family of the specific patient is fully protected against measles. We do not have knowledge of anyone else having developed symptoms.”

He added how it’s a little too soon for exposed people to develop symptoms since it takes from one to three weeks.

While the infant is receiving treatments in Yorkton, Dr. Voogt is urging others to make sure they have their vaccines against measles.

The infected traveller was too young to receive the vaccine since young children begin receiving the shot between 12 to 18 months of age, but there are special provisions that can be made for babies 6 to 11 months of age with consultation from the local public health unit.

Either way, it’s a reminder for parents to make sure their children are caught up on their shots.

“We’ve seen quite massive outbreaks in Europe, and on-going in Africa and Asia. Get yourselves vaccinated against these kinds of diseases,” urged Voogt. “Measles is an excellent example since it is very infectious.”

Measles is a highly infectious disease transmitted by airborne spread. Symptoms can include fever, red eyes and a rash that starts centrally including on the face, spreads to the limbs and lasts at least three days.

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