Possible Measles Outbreak at Newark on Christmas Eve

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If you traveled through Newark Liberty International Airport on Christmas Eve, you may have been exposed to measles.

Newark Liberty International Airport: PHOTO: Newark Liberty International Airport. (photo via tupungato/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Health officials announced that an international traveler was diagnosed with the contagious disease. The person traveled through Terminal B of Newark Liberty International Airport on Christmas Eve on a flight from Brussels.

The exposure may not be limited to Terminal B, as the traveler could have passed through other areas of the airport, putting others at risk.

If you traveled through Newark on December 24 between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., be aware that you may have been exposed to measles, and if infected, your symptoms could appear as late as January 14, 2019.

Exposure can occur through airborne particles, droplets, or contact with the respiratory secretions of an infected person. Most people with measles develop a rash, high fever, coughing, and have red, watery eyes. The rash usually starts on the face and makes it way down the body to the palms and soles.

Those infected are contagious for four days before the rash appears to four days after the rash appears.

If you suspect that you’ve been exposed, it’s best to contact a healthcare provider immediately before going to their office, so as to not prevent additional spreading of the disease.

Those with weakened immune systems like young children, pregnant women, or those battling other complications, could develop pneumonia and encephalitis along with measles, which could be very hazardous.

This is not the first time that Newark has been hit with a measles exposure incident. Health officials announced an exposure case for the airport on January 2, 2018, right after the 2017 Christmas holidays.

Whether you traveled through Newark during Christmas Eve or not, health officials urge people to get the two doses of the measles vaccine which is 97 percent effective in preventing the disease. With the vaccination, it could limit the spread or exposure of measles in areas of travel in the future.

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