Newark airport exposed to measles by traveler from Europe
NEWARK — Authorities are alerting people who were at Newark Liberty International Airport on Christmas Eve that they may have been exposed to measles.
An infected traveler was at Terminal B on Dec. 24 after arriving on a plane from Brussels.
State health officials say people may have been exposed to the highly contagious virus between noon and 4 p.m. It may take until Jan. 14 for symptoms to develop.
The measles alert comes amid outbreaks in New Jersey and New York. Since October, there have been 30 confirmed cases in Ocean County and three cases in a household in Passaic County. New York has reported 96 cases in Rockland County and 52 in Brooklyn. There have not been any reported deaths, although death is a possible result of the illness.
Local health officials have reached out to the New Jersey residents who were onboard the sick traveler's flight.
Authorities ask anyone who believes that they may have been exposed to notify their doctor's office before arriving in person in order to ensure proper precautions.
More information about exposure is published by the state at this link.
People who have been vaccinated against measles or who have been exposed to measles in the past are unlikely to get sick. The illness is severe in infants, pregnant women and people whose immune systems are weak.
Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose and red eyes followed by a rash or red spots that spread from the face to the entire body. Further complications could include diarrhea, ear infection, lung infection, brain swelling, and premature birth or low birth weight in pregnancy.
Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, said Friday that New Jersey residents should make sure they and their family are up to date with their measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine.
“Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons," Tan said. "If you’re planning an international trip, the World Health Organization recommends that adults or adolescents unsure of their immune status get a dose of measles vaccine before traveling."
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.