er an extended period of time and is not easily spread to others, said Cowie.
In 2006, there were 56 confirmed cases in the region. In Vancouver meantime, a group of Japanese students were detained at the Vancouver International Airport on Thursday when they tried to board a plane to Tokyo and screening revealed that one of them, a girl, had measles-like symptoms. Dr. Theresa Tam, of the Public Health Agency of Canada, said they are conducting tests to see if the young girl with a low fever has measles.
She has since been quarantined in a hotel close to the airport. Thirty eight others of the group and their two chaperones are also put up in the same hotel and their condition is closely monitored.
Those who aren't being isolated have been given medication to help prevent the disease, minimize symptoms and reduce transmission, Dr.Tam said.
"In Canada, measles is virtually eliminated, as it is in the Western Hemisphere, and if that is the case then one case of measles is actually an important event and it's important for public health authorities to do what is necessary to try to prevent further transmission," Tam noted. The students have been told to cover up when sneezing and coughing and not share food or drinks.
Tam said people who have measles aren't infectious until the end of the incubation period.
"We knew they were beginning to approach the end of the incubation period," she said of the students. "Because of that one person having some symptoms it's a signal that the end of the incubation period might be over and that the other students could potentially begin to develop symptoms and that's why it was a very precautionary measure that we decided to detain them."
Measles is a contagious disease that spreads through coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include a mild fever and a rash on the forehead and behind the ears and a dry cough. Dr. Howard Njoo, director of the health aPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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