Another Potential Measles Exposure at Newark Liberty International Airport
The New Jersey Department of Health has reported yet another potential measles exposure at Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR).
According to CBS New York, a measles-infected traveler arrived at EWR in Terminal B from Tokyo, Japan, and left for Quebec Airport (YQB), Canada, on May 29. They warn that anyone in the airport between 5pm on May 29 and 3:30pm on May 30 may have been exposed to the highly-contagious virus. New Jersey residents aboard the same flights as the individual will be contacted by their local health department.
If you’re concerned you might have been exposed, common measles symptoms include fever, coughing, runny nose, sore throat, inflamed eyes, conjunctivitis and Koplik’s Spots — which is a rash of small white spots with bluish-white centers on a red complexion that can be found inside the mouth or on the inner lining of the cheek. It takes an average of 10 to 12 days for symptoms to develop.
This is one of several exposures that have occurred at EWR this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that there have been 971 cases confirmed in the US at the end of May — a majority of which have been concentrated in New York City. This comes amid the largest-ever measles outbreak in the US since its elimination in 2000, and stats continue to grow.
The most effective method of preventing measles is by getting two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR). This offers 97% immunity to the virus, according to Dr. Manisha Patel, team leader for measles epidemiology at the CDC. If you're unsure if you've been inoculated, or only had one round of the vaccine, the CDC also suggests you check your medical records or visit a physician.
Health professionals, in the most recent edition of the CDC Yellow Book, which advises travelers on vaccinations, added a recommendation that travelers should absolutely be vaccinated against MMR before leaving the US.