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Measles Exposure Confirmed At Newark Airport

Newark Liberty International Airport
Newark Liberty International Airport Photo Credit: Newark Liberty International Airport Facebook

A traveler from Aruba may have exposed others to the measles earlier this month, state health officials said.

The traveler arrived in Terminal C on March 4 and then left for California from the same terminal, the NJ Health Department said. Anyone at the airport between 9 that night and 9:30 a.m. the following day could develop symptoms as late as March 26, health officials said.

New Jersey residents identified as potentially exposed on the ill individual’s flights will be notified by their local health department.

Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). 

Measles infection in pregnant women can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby. Measles is easily spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes. People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.

State epidemiologist Christina Tan urged the measles vaccine -- which is 97 percent effective in prevention, she said.

"Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed,” 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.

“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. 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."

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