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A group of Japanese high school students on an excursion to Canada has been quarantined in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Banff, Alberta, after one of them was suspected of having measles, Foreign Ministry officials said Wednesday.

A widening measles epidemic centering on the Kanto region has infected more than 280 people this year, many of them students.

The 130-member group from Tokyo arrived in Vancouver, British Columbia, last Thursday. A female student showed symptoms of measles and checked into a hospital while the rest of the group moved on to Alberta on Sunday.

Lab tests have yet to confirm if she has measles.

Based on information from the Japanese Consulate General in Vancouver, the ministry officials said the group was divided into two groups. One is continuing its tour, while the other, to which the female student belonged, has been quarantined in Banff.

The second group was tested for their immunity to the disease in light of possible exposure to measles and was staying at a hotel in Banff waiting for the test results, the officials said.

Measles has been spreading in Japan among people mainly in their teens and 20s since mid-March, with the Kanto region being hardest hit. A growing number of major universities have been forced to cancel classes.

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