Measles detected at multiple major airports over the holidays

Health Alert

Health officials issued a travel warning over the holiday season following a measles scare at five U.S. airports.

According to health officials, an unidentified person was believed to have contracted the disease while traveling in Europe in late November before he visited the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport last week.

“That individual became ill on December the 14th and developed a rash on December the 17th. On that same day, December 17th, he boarded a flight from Austin to Chicago, United Flight 790, with a connecting flight to Virginia,” said Dr. Mark Escott, Interim Health Authority for Austin Public Health.

Health officials in Chicago and Virginia are also investigating possible exposures at O’Hare Airport and Richmond International Airport.

And officials said three unvaccinated children with measles were visiting from New Zealand on Dec. 11 and likely exposed travelers at Denver and Los Angeles International airports.

“It’s important to remember that measles can be a deadly disease. Immunization remains the best protection against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases,” Escott said.

Measles is a virus that spreads through coughing and sneezing. It can live in the air for up to two hours.

Symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, pink eye and a red, splotchy rash.

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