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June 03, 2024

Possible measles exposure reported at Philly airport

A traveler infected with the virus was in the federal inspection area of Terminal A West on Friday, health officials say.

Health News Measles
Philly Measles Airport Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

A traveler with measles at Philadelphia International Airport may have exposed others to the highly contagious virus on Friday, May 31 in the federal inspection area of Terminal A West between 2:50 p.m. and 6 p.m., the health department says. The photo above is a file image of a bag check area.

A person with measles who was traveling at Philadelphia International Airport on Friday may have exposed others to the highly contagious virus, the city's health department said Monday.

The possible exposure happened in the federal inspection area of Terminal A West between 2:50 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, officials said. The person was traveling out of the city and the case is unrelated to another recent measles case with possible exposures in Northeast Philly and Montgomery County.

"We believe there is no threat to the general public associated with this case of measles," said Landrus Burress, director the health department's division of disease control. "We encourage people who were possibly exposed to take action if they are not protected against measles."

People who already received two doses of the measles vaccine — usually administered to children as the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine — or already have had measles do not need to take action, health officials said. Those who were born before 1957 also are generally considered immune to the virus.

Anyone who is not vaccinated against measles is advised to get immunized. Children who are too young for the vaccine and people who are pregnant or immunocompromised are advised to contact their doctors as soon as possible if they potentially were exposed. 

Measles usually appears as a rash and is considered contagious four days before and four days after red spots appear. Other symptoms may include a fever, cough, runny nose and puffy, red eyes. Unvaccinated people who were possibly exposed at the airport should wear a mask inside public spaces and around anyone who is unvaccinated for three weeks after the exposure.

Late last year, a measles outbreak originated at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and continued from December into early January. Nine mostly unvaccinated people caught the virus, and seven were hospitalized.

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