May 29, 2007 / 3:56 PM / in 12 years

Japanese isolated in Canada after measles exposure

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - A group of 130 Japanese tourists, mostly students, was quarantined in a hotel in Western Canada’s Rocky Mountains on Tuesday as health officials scrambled to test their exposure to measles, authorities said.

The 120 students, believed to be of high school age, and 10 chaperones were being held in the Banff, Alberta, hotel with blood tests scheduled to be completed later on Tuesday, said Bruce Conway, a spokesman for the Calgary Health Region.

None was showing any symptoms, Conway said.

They arrived in Vancouver from Tokyo on Thursday. There, a woman in the group took ill with measles and checked into a hospital.

The tourists flew to Calgary without her on Sunday and then traveled to the mountain resort of Banff by bus.

“And they’ve been in this hotel, which unfortunately is not the trip they were hoping for,” Conway said.

He said he did not know where in Japan the tourists live.

Measles, a viral infection, is rare in Canada due to vaccination programs before 1970 and beginning again in the 1980s. Symptoms include coughing, a runny nose and slight fever in the first stage, then a red rash that spreads over the body and lasts for about five days.

It is contagious four days before the rash appears and four days after.

Complications can include pneumonia, middle ear infections, swelling of the brain and seizures.

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