Yet Another Case of Measles Exposure at Newark Airport

Dec 28, 2018

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Health officials are warning travelers that a passenger confirmed to have measles traveled through Newark Airport (EWR) on Christmas Eve. Measles is a highly contagious disease that is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. The CDC says that measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.

The infected passenger arrived into Newark Terminal B on a flight from Brussels (BRU). Anyone who was on the infected passenger’s flight or in Newark Airport on Christmas Eve between noon and 4pm could have been exposed. Exposed passengers could develop symptoms of the disease — which include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes — as late as Jan. 14.

The New Jersey Department of Health says that anyone who suspects an exposure is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department. Calling before you seek treatment will allow health professionals to make special arrangements for evaluation that will protect other patients and medical staff from possible infection.

According to the CDC, measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and Africa. In the US, most measles cases result from unvaccinated people who get infected in other countries and then spread measles once back in the US. Luckily, New Jersey state epidemiologist Christina Tan says “two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles.”

This is the third report of measles at Newark Airport in 2018. The first exposure occurred on January 2 for 11 hours and the second exposure occurred on March 12 for more than eight hours.

H/T: USA Today

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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