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Measles alert for Air China flight from Beijing

March 26, 2015 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Two passengers on Air China flight CA991 from Beijing to Vancouver have tested positive for measles, prompting Vancouver Coastal Health to issue a public advisory and Canada to go on the alert.

The two passengers arrived in Vancouver on 21 March 2015 and would have been infectious on the flight, CBC reported. Measles has a 21-day incubation period, so people can travel a long way before they know they’re infected.

A family doctor spotted the symptoms and health authorities are now contacting passengers on the flight.

As in Australia, measles is rare in Canada. Unimmunised people are at risk of contracting the viral infection.

Health authorities say that people born before 1957 are considered immune and do not need a vaccine, but those born between 1957 and 1970 should have one dose. Those born after 1970 should have two doses of vaccine.

Measles is an acute, highly infectious illness that can cause serious complications such as pneumonia (lung infection) and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). It may also cause middle ear infection.

In the rougher, tougher days of the early-to-mid 20th century, measles was considered a routine childhood infection. Chicken pox and mumps were regarded similarly. Measles is now seen as a serious and potentially deadly disease.

Written by : Peter Needham

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