VANCOUVER ISLAND – A case of the measles on a ferry sailing last month may have infected other passengers.

Fraser Health is warning anyone who was on the BC Ferries sailing from Tsawwassen to Mayne Island on Friday August 31st at 7 p.m of a possible exposure to measles.  

According to a press release from the health authority, a case of measles was confirmed on the vessel, and was infectious during the voyage, “potentially exposing” other passengers to measles.

Measles is a highly infectious disease and unimmunized people are at risk. 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.”

Measles can be a serious illness with complications such as inflammation of the brain (encephalitis), convulsions, deafness, or brain damage. Infants under one year of age and adults who have other health concerns may have more severe illness. In Canada, death is fairly rare, estimated in the range of 1 for every 500-3,000 cases.