Health officials have issued a warning to passengers and airport workers at five cities after a 27 year old woman flew from London to New Mexico infected with measles.
She had not been immunized for the disease and arrived in Albuquerque quite ill.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with the airlines to notify all passengers who were seated in her vicinity on the plane, but there are plenty of other opportunities to catch what she was traveling with.
Anyone that was within five rows of the woman is at risk of catching measles. Most people are immunized for measles at an early age, but those who did not receive the shot are now especially at risk, including babies and pregnant women.
The routes the infected passenger flew on are:
February 20 – London – Washington Dulles
February 22 – Baltimore – Denver
February 22 – Denver – Albuquerque
The CDC recommends that if you were on any of these flights you contact your family doctor. Symptoms include a runny nose, small red spots all over the body and a fever. If left untreated, the disease could lead to ear infections, pneumonia or even death.
Passengers on a flight from San Diego to Hawaii were expecting to have a safe flight followed by, hopefully, some relaxing time in Hawaii. Instead, they were exposed to measles.
Measles is a highly contagious disease and is characterized by the famous rash that first develops on the face and head, spreading downward to the torso and arms.
The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that an 11 month old child from San Diego is under isolation at a military base until the risk of infection subsides, in 3-4 more days.
The origin of the infection believed to be from a visit to a pediatric clinic in La Jolla. San Diego County has reported 5 cases of measles, in 2008.
Travelers on the plane, as well as those at the gate, are at risk for contracting measles if not properly immunized. The MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine is commonly given to children over the age of 12 months. The 11 month old child was not able to receive the vaccine.
Any person who is believed to have been in contact with measles should visit their doctor.