NJ measles warning because of sick child at airport
NEWARK — A child with a confirmed case of the measles arrived on an international flight at Newark International Liberty Airport on Monday, the state health department said.
The child arrived on a flight from Brussels at Terminal B on Monday afternoon and left on a flight to Memphis from Terminal C on Monday night, according to the department. The child is believed to have been contagious when they were at the airport, and may have been to other parts of the facility.
The Health Department is encouraging anyone who may have been at the airport between 12:45 and 9 p.m. and who develops measles symptoms to contact their local health care provider before seeking treatment at the office or a hospital. By doing this potentially infected patients can minimize the risk of infecting other people.
Symptoms of the measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, according to the health department. If left untreated it can cause complications including pneumonia and encephalitis.
New Jersey residents on the flight with the child will be contacted by their local health departments. Those who have not been vaccinated for or had the measles are at the greatest risk for contracting the disease.
"Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles," state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan said. "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."
Tan said getting properly 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."
More information about possible exposure to the measles can be found on the state website.
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