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Traveling Child With Measles May Have Affected Others At Newark Airport

Terminal C in Newark Airport.
Terminal C in Newark Airport. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Anyone who was at Newark Airport on Monday could have been exposed to measles, state health officials said Wednesday.

A young child from Brussels who was infected with the disease arrived at Terminal B, left for Memphis from Terminal C and might have been in other parts of the airport between 12:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m on Monday, they said.

New Jersey residents identified as potentially exposed on the child's flights will be notified by their local health department, officials said.

Those who've been exposed are at risk if they haven't been vaccinated or had measles before.

"Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes," the New Jersey Department of Health said Wednesday. "People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person."

Infection can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and swelling of the brain (encephalitis), the department added.

Measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby.

Symptoms could develop as late as April 2 -- among them, rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

If you develop these, state health officials advise that you call a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department.

"Special arrangements can be made for evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection," the department said in a release.

"Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, a state epidemiologist.

“We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations," Tan said.

"Getting vaccinated not only protects you," she added. "It protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons."

HERE's WHAT TO DO if you’ve been exposed to measles:

www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/measles/measles_exposure_guidance_public.pdf

You can also visit the New Jersey Department of Health website: www.state.nj.us/health/cd/topics/measles.shtml

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website has additional information: www.cdc.gov/measles/

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