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Health officials: Measles exposure reported at 5 US airports

According to ABC News, five U.S. airports had travelers pass through with confirmed cases of measles this month.

An unknown number of travelers in the U.S. have been exposed to measles this month. 

According to ABC News, five airports in the nation had travelers pass through with confirmed cases of measles this month. 

ABC says someone in Chicago traveled through two terminals at O'Hare International Airport over the course of a week. The Chicago Department of Public Health says on Dec. 17, the person went through O'Hare's Terminal 1 and on Dec. 12 they went through Terminal 3. 

In Virginia, a person with measles was at the Richmond International Airport on Dec. 17, the Virginia Department of Health reports. 

In Austin, a person with a diagnosed case of measles visited the United Airlines gate at the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Dec. 17, Austin Public Health reports. 

“Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease. A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics," said Dr. Mark Escott, medical director for Austin Public Health, said in a statement on their website. 

Earlier this month, ABC says three unvaccinated children traveled to a country with an ongoing measles outbreak tested positive when they got back to the U.S. Those children visited several parts of the Denver International Airport on Dec. 11, according to Colorado's Tri-County Health Department. The Los Angeles Department of Public Health says the same children also traveled through the Los Angeles International Airport on Dec. 11. 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed more than 1,200 cases of measles in 31 states in 2019. 

"The best way to protect yourself and your family against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases is by immunization," Dr. Escott said in his statement. 

Signs and Symptoms of Measles

The CDC says measles isn’t just a little rash. It can be dangerous, especially for babies and young children. Measles typically begins with

  • high fever (may spike to more than 104°)
  • cough
  • runny nose (coryza)
  • red, watery eyes (conjunctivitis)

Two to three days after symptoms begin, tiny white sports (Koplik spots) may appear inside the mouth. Three to five days after symptoms start, a rash breaks out.  See the CDC's website for more information about what the rashes look like and other symptoms. 

If you think you may have been exposed to measles, check your vaccination records and contact your doctor.

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