Travelers through Chicago's O'Hare airport possibly exposed to measles

Airplanes at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark N.J
Airplanes at Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark N.J
Author

16 January, 2018

The Illinois Department of Health is sending out a warning to anyone that was in Chicago O'Hare Airport on Wednesday, January 10.

A passenger, with a confirmed case of the disease, arrived on an worldwide flight on Wednesday, Jan. 10.

Somewhere between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on January 10, according to a statement obtained by ABC News and released by the Illinois Department of Public Health, "a passenger on an global flight with a confirmed case of measles arrived in Terminal 5" of the airport and the person "departed on a domestic flight from Terminal 1". However, it is entirely possible that the passenger also traveled to other areas of the facility. The disease is highly contagious and can take up to ten days for symptoms to appear.

The traveler landed at Chicago O'Hare and was in multiple terminals of the airport before boarding a second flight from Chicago to Little Rock, AR, WTVG reports. All in all, for every 1,000 children who are exposed to the virus, one or two will die from measles. Of most concern, are people who have not been vaccinated.

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Among the symptoms of measles are cough, rash, high fever and red and watery eyes.

"We urge everyone to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations", said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Layden in the statement. As of the moment, local health agencies are reaching out to IL residents identified to have been potentially exposed to the measles virus at the airport.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said it's possible that symptoms may not show, for those who may have been affected by the passenger at Chicago O'Hare, until as late as January 31.


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