Possible measles exposure at Seattle
airport, health officials warn
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[September 15, 2014]
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Health officials
in Washington state on Sunday warned people who used Seattle-Tacoma
International Airport this month that they could have been exposed to
measles after a passenger was confirmed to be carrying the virus.
The passenger was at the airport on Sept. 6 during a period when the
illness is contagious, and can spread easily through the air by
breathing, coughing or sneezing, Public Health -Seattle & King
County said in a news release.
"The traveler was likely exposed to measles outside of the United
States," the agency said.
The passenger used the airport's north satellite terminal, the
inter-terminal train and the baggage claim, and also dined at a
restaurant at the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way hotel that evening,
the agency said.
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe respiratory
disease. Symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure and include
high fever, rash, cough, and red, watery eyes.
People who might have been exposed would likely become sick between
Sept. 13 and 27, health officials said.
Health officials advised those with possible exposure to seek
immediate medical attention. But in order to avoid possibly
spreading measles to other patients, people were instructed not to
go to a clinic or hospital without calling to request an evaluation.
A measles outbreak in Ohio earlier this year sickened nearly 400
people ranging in age from 6 months to 53 years, authorities said.
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The majority of those who fell ill were unvaccinated, health
People at the highest risk from exposure to measles include those
who are not vaccinated, pregnant women, infants under 6 months of
age and those with weakened immune systems.
(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere in Seattle; Editing by Carey Gillam
and Peter Cooney)
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