NEWARK, N.J. (CBS) – Public health officials in New Jersey are warning the public after they say a boy with a confirmed case of the highly contagious disease measles arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport on Monday.
The New Jersey Department of Health says the boy arrived in Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport from Brussels and departed for Memphis from Terminal C.
“The individual, a young child, was infectious on that day and may have traveled to other areas of the airport,” officials said.
If you were at the airport between 12:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. on March 12 you may have been exposed to measles, and if infected could develop symptoms as late as April 2.
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 a pregnant woman 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.
If you have been exposed, you are at risk if you have not been vaccinated or have not had measles.
“Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist. “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,” Dr. Tan added.
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