Travelers who were at DFW International Airport on May 15 may have been exposed to measles, officials said Thursday.
A person who passed through the airport on a connecting flight that day tested positive for the disease, according to a news release from Tarrant County Public Health.
Visitors and workers at the airport could have been exposed in the following areas:
- Terminal D customs area from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m.
- The SkyLink tram between terminals from 5:45 to 8 p.m.
- Terminal A in the area of Gate 6 to Gate 8 from 6 to 10:50 p.m.
Anyone in those areas should watch for symptoms of measles until June 5, officials said.
Terminal A is used exclusively for American Airlines flights, and multiple airlines — including several international airlines — use Terminal D, an airport representative said in an email.
An American Airlines spokesman said in an email that the airline was in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and public health officials to coordinate any required health and safety measures. He referred questions about whether the passenger flew American to health officials.
People who think they may have been exposed to measles should check their vaccination records or contact their health care provider to see if they need to be immunized. Anyone who has not been vaccinated, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk, according to the health department.
The following people should receive the vaccine if they are traveling internationally or to sites of active measles outbreaks:
- Infants ages 6 months through 11 months of age should have one dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
- Children 12 months and older should have two doses of the MMR vaccine spaced at least 28 days apart.
Adults should be sure they have had at least two doses of the MMR vaccine. People born between 1957 and 1989 may only have had one dose and should receive a second one, officials said.
People who become ill should let their doctor’s office know that they may have been around someone with measles before showing up for an appointment.
Stay home and away from other people until your doctor tells you if you have measles or not, the Tarrant County health department advised.
There have been 15 confirmed measles cases in Texas this year, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Signs and symptoms
It typically takes about two weeks from the time of exposure to the virus for a rash to develop, but it can take up to three weeks. People are contagious from four days before they get the rash to four days after it appears and should seek medical treatment and isolate themselves at home.
The rash begins on the face as flat red spots and spreads down the neck and trunk to the rest of the body.
Other symptoms include a fever higher than 101 degrees, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
People with the symptoms who think they may have been exposed to the virus should call their health providers in advance of a visit so precautions can be taken to prevent exposure to staff members and other patients.
About one out of four people who get measles will be hospitalized and one out of every 1,000 will develop brain swelling because of infection, which may lead to brain damage. One or two out of every 1,000 people with measles will die, even with the “best care,” the CDC said.