Canadian Health

Travellers heading abroad should make sure they leave time before departure to check their vaccines history. There are many reasons travellers neglect to get their immunizations and unvaccinated individuals could be susceptible to illnesses such as measles.

Measles is a virus that is spread through droplets in the air from the cough and/or sneezes of an infected individual. It can also be spread when a person touches an object that has been recently exposed to mucus or saliva. Measles can cause complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, and even death in some cases.

Measles is still common in many areas of the world and it is important to be vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of this disease.   Travellers who are not vaccinated risk getting sick, as well as bringing measles back from their trip and potential infecting others.

Prior to the availability of vaccinations many Canadians died from illness like measles that are now vaccine-preventable. Fortunately, there is a vaccine to help protect you. The vaccine contains a weakened form of the measles virus and does not cause the disease.

It is important to seek travel health advice prior to planning any trip, especially for those travelling overseas. Travellers should plan to have vaccinations done at least 4-6 weeks prior to departure to ensure vaccine effectiveness.

Getting vaccinated can help protect yourself and others and to minimize the risk of getting sick while travelling.   A lot of time, energy and money goes into planning a trip abroad, don’t let preventable illnesses ruin your trip away!


As of January 2016 over 520 cases of pertussis, primarily in infants, have been reported in Portugal.   This is a significant increase over the average incidence rate.

What is pertussis?

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial disease.  Symptoms usually develop in 5-10 days and are similar to a cold with runny nose, mild cough and/or fever.

Pertussis is also known as the “100 day cough” and can cause a loud “whoop” sound; people with minor cases may not present with the whooping sound. Serious illness can occur in infants, children, and adults.  The most serious cases of pertussis occur in infants, those under 1 year of age often require hospitalization. Many babies with pertussis do not present with a cough and instead suffer from apnea (pause in breathing).

Health Canada recommends one adult booster of pertussis (Tetanus/Diptheria with acellular Pertussis) even if they have received a dose of Tetanus/Diptheria in the last 10 years.  All travelling adults should receive this booster dose of pertussis.

The childhood dose is given as part of BC’s standard immunizations.  Adult dose is recommended to boost the immune system but is not provided free in BC.  Immunization not only helps protect yourself but others around you as well.


Zika Virus in Cuba

April 20, 2016

Zika Travel Health update: Since March 19th 2016 local transmission has occurred in Cuba.  Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area of acquired Zika and are transmitting it to humans. Travellers to Cuba are advised to use insect precautions while abroad.  Seek travel health advice a minimum of 4-6 weeks before departure to stay […]

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Do you or your family member need protection against Meningitis?

April 21, 2015

  Meningococcal Meningitis usually starts with mild flu-like symptoms that may also included neck pain, fever, headaches and vomiting.  Symptoms generally worsen rapidly.  This infection can be fatal, affecting the lining surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Survivors can experience permanent disabilities such as hearing loss, limb loss and paralysis. Most students travelling to University are recommended or required […]

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Gardasil 9 Available in Canada

April 8, 2015

Merck has released their new vaccine for protection against HPV.  Gardasil 9 is indicated for girls and women ages 9- 26 years of age for prevention of cervical, vulvar, vaginal, anal cancer and pre-cancerous or lesions caused by HPV types 16, 18,31,33,45,52 and 58 and Genital warts caused by HPV types 6 and 11. Gardasil 9 is also indicated for […]

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Canada Public Health Agency Reports Measles in Quebec

March 18, 2015

  Since late January 2015, the Public Health Agency of Canada has confirmed 139 cases of measles.  This is a significant increase over the average incidence rate.  Cases have been primarily reported from a non-immunizing religious community in Lanaudiere Region, Quebec.  A case has been linked to the outbreak in Disneland (Anaheim, California).  Eighteen cases […]

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Meningitis Cases Reported In Nova Scotia

February 19, 2015

Concerns of a potential outbreak of meningitis have been raised as health officials report a second case of bacterial meningitis  at the University of Acadia in Nova Scotia. The Province will begin a targeted vaccination program for students if the sample of meningitis comes back as the same B strain contracted by a female student […]

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Needing a TB Test for work or school?

January 16, 2015

Nova Travel Medicine and Immunization Clinic offers many occupational vaccines and services such as TB testing and the flu shot. TB Testing is 35.00 and booked by appointment only.  Please contact the office today to ensure you are ready for work or school! What is a TB test? A tuberculin test is the first test […]

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Severe flu season expected for 2014-15

December 5, 2014

This year’s flu season has started early, the present  strains circulating are consisting of a mutation strain of A(H3N2). Canada, Europe and the US have reported almost exclusively the circulation of influenza A(H3N2), flu seasons dominated by this strain tend to be severe.  The current vaccine strain in this year’s flu vaccine (A/Texas H3N2) will not protect against this mutated strain. […]

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Rick Mercer’s Flu Rant

November 21, 2014

Did you know there are 4, 000 flu related deaths a year for adults 65 years and older?  It is not enough to immunize seniors and children, you need to immunize yourself as well to help protect everyone. Need more reasons to get a flu shot see below : Rick Mercer’s flu rant The Nova […]

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