Woman May Have Spread Measles at Newark Airport This Month
NEWARK — A woman with measles may have spread the highly-contagious virus around Newark Liberty International Airport earlier this month, state health officials said Friday.
The infectious woman was at the airport on Jan. 2. The state Department of Health says anybody who may have been at the airport from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. that day should watch out for measles symptoms, which may not develop until Jan. 23.
Authorities say the woman was in Terminal C waiting for a flight to Indianapolis, but she may have walked to other areas of the airport. Authorities are reaching out to the passengers and crew on her flight.
People who have not been vaccinated or have not had measles are at risk.
Measles can spread easily through the air after an infected persons coughs or sneezes, or through contact with infected mucus or saliva left on objects.
Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
Illness from measles can cause pneumonia and brain swelling. Pregnant women risk miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby.
Anyone who suspects that they might have symptoms should contact a doctor or medical facility to make arrangements before showing up in person so that staff can take precautions.
The World Health Organization recommends that people unsure of their immune status get a measles vaccine before traveling abroad.
“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," Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, said. "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."