Possible measles exposure at 5 USA airports, officials say

First case of measles since 1999 confirmed in Travis County

Health officials investigating possible measles exposures in Central Virginia

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) On December 17, between noon and 4 pm, an individual infected with measles was at Gate 29 and flew on United flight 790.

The warnings come after one traveler with the infection visited all three airports as he flew from Austin to Chicago with a connecting flight to Richmond, according to the Austin American-Statesman citing Dr. Mark Escott, the interim health authority at Austin Public Health.

"Out of caution, central Texas health departments are informing people located at different locations listed below during the specified time frames that they may have been exposed to a measles person", said a statement on the Austin Public Health website.

According to FOX, someone with measles traveled through two terminals at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in a two week span.

"It's important to remember that measles can be a deadly disease", he said.

This year, the United States reported its highest number of cases in 25 years, while four countries in Europe - Albania, Czechia, Greece and the United Kingdom - lost their measles elimination status in 2018 following protracted outbreaks of the disease. Just days after these symptoms begin, tiny white spots may become visible inside the infected person's mouth, followed by a rash - marked by small raised bumps - appearing on their face and body.

In Austin, an individual with a diagnosed case of measles visited the United Airlines gate area at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on December 17, Austin Public Health reports. "Immunization remains the best protection against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases", Escott said.

Area health officials are mounting a coordinated effort to identify the people who may have been exposed.

A person who traveled through multiple US airports during the holidays was infected with measles, officials said. Those who received two vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are safe from the disease.

On December 11, the children traveled through multiple areas of Denver International Airport, including the baggage and pickup area in Concourse A, Fox News reported.

The measles virus spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air for up to two hours.

There were 1,276 cases of measles reported in 31 USA states in 2019 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than in the prior four years combined. But those who are unvaccinated have a 90 percent chance of catching measles if they breathe the virus in, according to the CDC.

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