Traveler Who Had Connecting Flight at DFW Airport Tests Positive for Measles: Officials

The traveler had a connecting flight on May 15

A possible measles exposure has been identified after a traveler who went through DFW Airport tested positive for measles, according to Tarrant County Public Health officials.

The traveler had a connecting flight on May 15 and the exposure may have happened in these areas and times, according to the department: Terminal D customs area from 5:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., the Skylink (tram to terminals) from 5:45 p.m. to 8 p.m., and Terminal A in the area of gate 8 from 6 p.m. to 10:50 p.m.

Terminal A is used exclusively for American Airlines flights while many airlines, including several international carriers, use Terminal D.

American Airlines told NBC 5 Thursday they were in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as local public health officials and will coordinate with them on any required health and safety related measures.

Public health officials would not reveal which flights the infected passenger was on, citing privacy laws.

The following information is from Tarrant County Public Health:

Measles is transmitted from an infectious person when they exhale or cough to others via airborne droplets. These droplets can stay in the air for some time after the infectious person leaves an area.

Individuals who think they may have been exposed should check their immunization records or contact their healthcare providers to determine if they need to be immunized. Of most concern are people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. Most adults require one dose of measles vaccine, including those who received a measles vaccine between 1957 and 1989.

Travelers need to make sure that they and their families are protected against measles. The following individuals should receive vaccine if traveling internationally or to sites of active outbreaks:

  • Infants six months through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine.
  • Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.
  • Adults should be sure they have had at least two doses of MMR vaccine. Note: those born between 1957 and 1989 may have had only one dose of MMR vaccine and should receive a second dose.

Measles is highly contagious. The illness begins with symptoms that last for 2-4 days and includes fever (101 or higher), cough, and runny nose, and red, watery eyes. These symptoms are followed by a rash that is red, raised, and blotchy and a fever that may spike to or over 103F. The rash begins at or on the head, typically around the hair line, and moves down the body. The rash may last for 5-6 days and may turn brown. A person with measles can make other people sick 4 days before and after their rash begins for a total of 9 days.

People who were in the areas listed above should watch for any symptoms of measles until June 5, 2019. If you become ill, PLEASE CALL your doctor's office or healthcare facility FIRST, and tell them that you were possibly around someone with measles before entering the facility to avoid exposing other people. Stay home and away from other people, exclude yourself from any group or public setting until your doctor tells you if you have measles or not.

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