Tags: measles | exposure | ohare airport | travel alert

Measles Exposure at O'Hare Prompts Travel Alert

Measles Exposure at O'Hare Prompts Travel Alert
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 January 2018 09:45 AM

A measles exposure at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, the second busiest airport in the country, prompted a travel alert from Illinois state health officials.

Anyone without an up-to-date measles vaccination was urged to take precautions.

The alert came four days after a passenger who was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease walked through two terminals of the bustling airport, ABC News reported.

"On Jan. 10, 2018, a passenger on an international flight with a confirmed case of measles arrived in Terminal 5 at Chicago O'Hare International Airport and departed on a domestic flight from Terminal 1," the Illinois Department of Public Health said.

The department said the passenger could have traveled to other areas of the airport as well and people could have been exposed from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day.

"Most individuals are vaccinated routinely in childhood and are not at high risk. Of most of concern are people who have not been vaccinated. Individuals who think they have been exposed should check with their health care provider about protection through prior vaccination or the need for vaccination. If infected, you could develop symptoms as late as Jan. 31, 2018,” the the department said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said measles are highly contagious and the virus can be spread through the air through coughing and sneezing. Measles starts with a fever, runny nose, cough, red eyes, and sore throat, followed by a rash that spreads over the body.

Illinois Department of Public Health added that measles can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). People can also become ill after coming in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

"Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles," Illinois state health chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Layden said. "We urge everyone to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations."

"Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons," Layden continued.

The CDC reported that in 2014 a record 667 cases of measles, the greatest number since measles was declared eradicated in the United States in 2000, according to ABC News.

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A measles exposure at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, the second busiest airport in the country, prompted a travel alert from Illinois state health officials.
measles, exposure, ohare airport, travel alert
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2018-45-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 09:45 AM
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