May 06, 2007

British Airways flight likely source of Alberta measles cases

CALGARY (CBC) - Calgary health officials are trying to track down people who arrived on a British Airways flight from England after three passengers came down with the measles.

A Calgary woman in her 20s is recovering from the highly contagious disease after flying into the international airport on British Airways Flight 1103 from Heathrow April 8.

Two other Albertans on the flight also got measles, but officials won't say which part of the province they live in, explaining they haven't yet contacted doctors in those regions.

Dr. Brent Friesen, Calgary's medical officer of health, said the flight was likely the source of the measles.

Measles are rare and the Calgary Health Region doesn't usually record any cases, he said. People who think they have measles shouldn't go to a doctor or hospital, but call Health Link for advice from a nurse.

According to the health region, measles is a highly contagious infectious disease spread by airborne droplets or close personal contact with someone infected.

Symptoms of red measles, the most severe type, include a high fever, a harsh, dry cough, a runny nose, and red, puffy eyes that are sensitive to light. For part of the time, the patient will have a rash.

It can take seven to 18 days for the disease to develop after exposure. There is no cure or treatment. Complications can lead to deafness, blindness or retardation.

Source: Yahoo! Canada news

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