Southwest Says Passengers in Texas Were Exposed to Measles

Sep 7, 2018

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Southwest Airlines has contacted passengers who might have been exposed to the measles virus on four different flights in the state of Texas.

The passengers in question shared a plane 16 days ago with a Southwest flyer who was later diagnosed with the ultra-contagious illness. The Centers for Disease Control helped the carrier track down all the people who might have been exposed to the virus. The health departments of Dallas and Houston are also assisting in the investigation.

Complicating matters is Southwest’s open seating policy. The CDC usually only notifies passengers within two rows of a contagious flyer, which is as far as an airborne virus can travel. However because Southwest doesn’t assign seats, it’s difficult to know which passengers sat where.

So, all passengers on the following four affected flights will get a call:

  • Flight #5 Dallas (DAL) to Houston (HOU) on Aug. 21, 2018
  • Flight #9 HOU to Harlingen (HRL) on Aug. 21, 2018
  • Flight #665 HRL to HOU on Aug. 22, 2018
  • Flight #44 HOU to DAL on Aug. 22, 2018

Passengers are being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days, or the end of the virus incubation period, which would be until Sept. 11. Measles symptoms include fever, cough and a rash. If those symptoms occur, passengers should seek medical attention.

The CDC said passengers at the affected airports had a much smaller chance of being infected with the virus than the passengers on the planes with the sick flyer.

H/T: NBC Dallas

Featured image by Alberto Riva / The Points Guy.

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