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Passengers passing through New Jersey’s Newark Airport (EWR) on Friday could have possibly been exposed to measles.

The New Jersey Department of Health says an international traveler carrying the highly infectious virus arrived at EWR’s Terminal B on Friday, Sept. 28, on a flight from Tel Aviv (TLV). The unidentified man was contagious that day, the state’s health department says, and he could have been in other areas of the airport, too.

Anyone who was in Newark Airport on Friday between 5:30am and 10:30am could have potentially been exposed to the measles virus.  Exposed passengers could develop symptoms of the disease — which include high fever, cough, rash, runny nose, watery eyes — until Oct. 19. More serious symptoms, like encephalitis — a swelling of the brain — and pneumonia, can also occur in a measles infection, NJDOH says. Luckily, two doses of a measles vaccine are about 97% effective at preventing the illness, according to New Jersey state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan.

A similar exposure happened at EWR earlier this year. In January, Newark flyers were exposed to measles for 11 hours. And in March, two cases of the disease were confirmed in passengers who traveled through Newark (EWR), Detroit (DTW) and Memphis (MEM) airports. A Southwest flight to Texas had a similar outbreak scare in September.


Featured image of Newark Airport by Nicolas Jehly via Unsplash.

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