ATLANTA — American tourists headed for Canada this summer should make certain they have been vaccinated against measles because of an epidemic in some provinces of that country, federal health officials said Thursday.
The national Centers for Disease Control said hundreds of thousands of tourists go to Canada each year, and even more are expected this year because of Expo '86 at Vancouver in British Columbia.
British Columbia is in the midst of a measles epidemic, the CDC said, with 174 cases reported per 100,000 population.
The federal health agency said that between Jan. 1 and April 12, at least 7,941 measles cases were reported in Canada--"a greater than 20-fold increase over the corresponding period in 1985 and the largest number of measles cases reported since 1979."
Measles also has reached epidemic proportions in Manitoba and Nova Scotia, and the disease is on the rise in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario, the agency said.
Canadian authorities have attributed the outbreak to a combination of vaccination failures and a large number of people going without vaccinations.