• Kyodo

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A group of 41 students and teachers from a girls high school are still in Vancouver, British Columbia, after being barred from boarding a plane back to Japan due to possible measles symptoms, consulate officials said Friday.

They are among 131 students and teachers from the school, whose name has not been released, who traveled to Canada on a school trip.

Measles has been spreading in Japan since mid-March, chiefly among people in their teens and 20s, forcing a number of universities to call off classes.

One of the high school students visiting Canada was hospitalized for suspected measles after the group arrived in Vancouver on May 24. While the student remained hospitalized, the excursion continued.

Canadian health authorities vaccinated the 41 because they were found to have no history of measles or to have weak immunity.

When they went through a health check conducted by Canadian authorities before trying to board the flight, one of the students complained of a fever and other symptoms similar to those of measles, the consulate officials said.

The 41 are staying at a hotel in a Vancouver suburb near the airport, the consulate officials said. Local reports said they are being monitored by Canadian health officials.

If the student who complained of the symptoms is confirmed free of measles and the others in the group are found to be in good health, the students and teachers are expected to be able to return to Japan early this week, the officials said.

Measles, which spreads through coughing or sneezing, can take a week to 18 days to develop after initial exposure. There is no cure or treatment.

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