New measles exposure risk identified at LAX in May

by in News

A traveler with measles passed through Los Angeles International Airport late last month, prompting public health officials to issue a renewed call for vaccinations.

That person came through Terminal 4, Gate 48B, between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on May 26, and then through the remote gate at Tom Bradley International Terminal between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on May 28.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is trying to identify others who may have been at-risk and exposed to the disease.

Experts urge those who are not fully protected against measles to get vaccinated.

“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, finally, a rash,” said Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County health officer. “It gets spread, by air and by direct contact, even before you know have it.”

Anyone who may have been at those LAX locations on those dates may be at-risk of developing measles for up to 21 days after being exposed.

Anyone who may have been exposed should notify their health care provider as soon as possible if they are pregnant, have a weakened immune system, have an infant who may have been exposed, and/or are not immunized.

There have been eight measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, and this makes seven non-resident measles cases that have traveled through the county. Of the cases among residents, three are not linked to any of the others; two are linked to international travel. The majority of the cases involved people who were not vaccinated.

Additional cases and exposures may occur in the region because of returning travelers, especially international travelers who are not protected against the measles.

Measles immunizations are available at healthcare providers, pharmacies and health clinics. Public health clinics offer no or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. Information:  2-1-1 or publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/phcenters.htm.

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