Washington state health officials have warned people who have been to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport this month. According to the officials, passengers who have visited the airport this month could have been exposed to measles virus or enveloped RNA virus of the genus Morbillivirus.
In a statement, Public Health -Seattle & King County said, “the passenger was likely exposed to measles outside United States. The traveler was likely exposed to measles outside of the United States. The passenger used the airport’s north satellite terminal, the inter-terminal train and the baggage claim, and also dined at a restaurant at the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way hotel that evening.”
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that causes fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person with measles coughs or sneezes. Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. Measles is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash. People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.
“If you were at either of these locations during the times listed above and are not immune to measles, the most likely time you would become sick is between September 13th and September 27th. Most people in our area have immunity to the measles through vaccination, so the risk to the general public is low. However, all persons who were in the following locations around the same time as the individual with measles should. Call a health care provider promptly if they develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between September 13th and September 27th. To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles,” states the statement.