canada

As of July 1st, all new Canadian passports will now come with a small embedded chip and a digital version of the passport photo.  The chip contains personal information typed on page 2.  The chip has been added for extra security and is hoped to prevent forgeries; a machine reads the chip and authenticates the information typed on page 2.

The chip, although new to Canada, has been issued to 100 other countries. Passport Canada has not reported any major problems since the global introduction of the e-passport.  Canadian e-passports can be purchased with expiry dates after 10 years, or at a cheaper cost for 5 years.  Children under 16 will receive passports valid for 5 years.  Any remaining non-chip passports will remain valid until their expiry date.

This article was adapted from the Globe and Mail Article http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/travel-news/epassports-more-secure-and-valid-longer/article13016449/.

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Measles

by Wayne Ghesquiere on March 28, 2013

The Public Health Agency of Canada released a public health notice on measles on March 26th, 2013.  Two Canadians, one from Ontario and one from New Brunswick,  travelled outside of Canada to Mexico and became infected with measles; they were not previously vaccinated.  It is likely that the individuals contracted the illness from another traveler in the resort.  The disease has now been contracted by two other Canadians in New Brunswick who were in close contact with one of the individuals; they were also not previously vaccinated.

Measles is highly infectious and common in many countries. It is spread easily among people who are not vaccinated against it. Canadians should ensure their vaccines are up to date; especially prior to travel.

Symptom onset is 7-18 days after infection.  Symptoms include:

  • fever
  • runny nose
  • drowsiness
  • irritability
  • eye redness
  • small white spots inside mouth and throat may appear

As the disease progresses a red rash will appear on face and progress down the body.  Complications can include diarrhea, pneumonia and infections of the brain.

Seek medical attention if you have been in contact with someone who has measles or if you develop symptoms upon return to Canada.

For more information see: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/phn-asp/2013/measles-0325-eng.php

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