May 24 (UPI) — As the United States deals with its most severe measles outbreak in a quarter-century, officials at one of the nation’s busiest airports said Thursday travelers there may have been exposed to the disease this month.
Tarrant County Public Health said a traveler who was at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on May 15 has tested positive for measles. Areas of the airport that could’ve been contaminated were located in Terminal D, the Skylink train and Terminal A, health officials said.
“Of most concern are people who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals,” the health department said in a statement.
“Travelers need to make sure that they and their families are protected against measles.”
Measles can spread through airborne droplets when people exhale, cough or sneeze. Symptoms may not show up until two or three weeks after exposure. Officials say adults born between 1957 and 1989 might need a second dose of the vaccine.
Health officials said anyone possibly exposed at the Dallas airport — the 14th-busiest in the world and fourth-busiest in the United States by passenger traffic — should watch for symptoms until June 5.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week 880 measles cases have been identified in the United States so far this year — the highest figure since 1994. Texas has seen 15 cases.
“These outbreaks are linked to travelers who brought measles back from other countries such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, where large measles outbreaks are occurring,” the CDC said.