More measles cases in Metro Vancouver and all of them are linked to last month’s Air China flight with sick Christian school students from Burnaby, including the latest case touching down April 4th in a 2nd flight from Beijing.
Medical Health Officer Dr. Reka Gustafson says it started with one infection and has now grown to nine sick people.
“So in addition to that case there are three additional cases among people who travelled with that individual. So they were likely all exposed in China together. Since then five additional people have been diagnosed with measles who have been in contact with that case.”
Gustafson says someone on the March flight was exposed to measles, returned to Beijing, and then flew back to Vancouver – again – this time sick.
“The individual became symptomatic just before or right on the flight. So that individual was actuall in the very early stages of their illness. We certainly consider them to be infectious but hopefully not quite as infectious as the index case.”
Gustafson says this whole thing is frustrating.
“Measles is the most infectious disease known to us. It is a serious illness. Some people even die and we have no treatment. We have an extremely effective and very safe vaccine. The frustrating part is these kinds of exposures by and large actuallt don’t need to happen.”
Gustafson says with a 21 day incubation period they will have to keep an eye out for new cases until April 25th.