A case of the measles is being reported from a flight on Tuesday, putting at risk travelers who went through airports in Detroit; Newark, N.J.; and Memphis, as they might have been exposed, according to health officials in two states.
The measles case was reported on Tuesday and was recently confirmed in Washtenaw County, Michigan. The person had returned from travel abroad on March 6 and was contagious at the time.
USA Today reports the specifics:
• Detroit. People who visited the North Terminal at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on the afternoon of March 6 likely were exposed to the highly contagious virus, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Someone infected could develop symptoms as late as next week
• Newark. Passengers in terminals B and C of Newark Liberty International Airport also were exposed and could develop symptoms as late as April 2, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
• Memphis. The young child diagnosed with measles arrived in Newark from Brussels and flew to Memphis International Airport that evening, exposing others along the way, New Jersey health officials said.
Health officials in Michigan said of the Detroit case, “Anyone who was in customs or baggage claim in the airport’s North Terminal between 2 and 5 p.m. (ET) that day should seek medical attention from their primary care provider if they develop symptoms of the disease.”
Health officials in New Jersey say that passengers at Newark airport between 12:45 and 9 p.m. Monday could have been exposed to the measles virus, it is not known what flight the infected child boarded to Memphis.
From the report: Measles begins with a “high fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose” and extreme sensitivity to light, according to the department.
Not only is measles very contagious — it spreads through a cough or sneeze and even by being in a room up to two hours after an infected person has left — children younger than 5 can face serious complications, including permanent hearing loss from ear infections; pneumonia, which is a lung infection; or a swelling of the brain called encephalitis. Pregnant women are susceptible to giving birth prematurely or having a low-weight baby.
The illness has a 10- to 12-day incubation period. After the earlier symptoms, it develops into a red, raised body rash that starts on the head and face before progressing to the rest of the body.
Anyone that has already received a two measles, mumps and rubella vaccine as children are considered protected for life, federal officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
People who have not been vaccinated or did not complete the tw0-shot course could come down with the disease.
The Michigan measles patient was hospitalized and is recovering.