Health Officials Warn of Possible Measles Exposure at Newark Airport on Christmas Eve - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Health Officials Warn of Possible Measles Exposure at Newark Airport on Christmas Eve

Measles is a highly contagious disease, and symptoms include rash, high fever, cough and red, watery eyes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Measles Warning for Newark Airport Travelers

    If you traveled through Newark Airport on Christmas Eve, you may have been exposed to measles. Brian Thompson reports.

    (Published Friday, Dec. 28, 2018)

    Health officials are warning of a possible measles exposure at Newark Liberty International Airport over the busy Christmas travel days.

    The international traveler diagnosed with the highly contagious disease went through Terminal B on Christmas Eve on a flight from Brussels, but health officials warn that person could have passed through other areas of the airport as well.

    If you were in the airport on Dec. 24 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., you may have been exposed to measles and, if infected, could develop symptoms as late as Jan. 14, officials say. New Jersey residents identified as potentially exposed on the sick person's flights will be notified by their local health departments. 

    Anyone who suspects they've been exposed is urged to call a health care provider before going to a medical office to prevent additional spread of the disease, which is transmitted by airborne particles, droplets, and direct contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person. 

    Authorities say this case is unrelated to the ongoing outbreak in the state, which has 30 confirmed cases in Ocean County and three in Passaic County. Two doses of the measles vaccine are 97 percent effective in preventing measles, so health officials urge anyone who hasn't been vaccinated to do so.

    Young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk for severe complications, which can include pneumonia and encephalitis. 

    Symptoms include rash, high fever, cough and red, watery eyes. The rash usually starts on the face, proceeds down the body, and may include the palms and soles. The rash lasts several days. Infected individuals are contagious from four days before rash onset through the fourth day after rash appearance.