Health officials in Southern California have issued a warning to travelers who may have flown in and out of Los Angeles International Airport recently. People who were at the airport on April 3 could be at risk of developing the disease, which can be present for up to 21 days after being exposed.
Officials say the person with measles traveled through gate 70A in Terminal 7 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on April 3. The person also visited the B Grill by BOA Steakhouse at Terminal 7 departures and gate 81, Terminal 8. Health officials also said they don't believe there is any current risk to individuals in those areas now. People on the diagnosed person's flights have been notified. Those who remain symptom-free after April 24 are no longer at any risk of contracting the disease.
"Although LA County is not experiencing an outbreak, measles outbreaks are occurring nationally and internationally and exposures related to travel can occur,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “This underscores the importance for those who are not immunized against measles to get the measles immunization. With two doses of measles vaccine at about 97% effective and one dose about 93% effective, measles immunization is the best way to keep from getting and spreading measles.”
This is the third time people traveling through LAX have been exposed to measles. The first involved a China Eastern passenger who arrived at LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal on Feb 21. A second person diagnosed with the disease arrived on a United Flight on March 5. That person also visited an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location in Santa Monica.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say measles is highly infectious with 90 percent of unvaccinated people who come in contact with an infected person contracting the virus. Symptoms include a red spotted rash that spreads across the body, high fevers, coughs, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
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