Measles: If You Were at Sea-Tac Airport During These Hours, Here is What to Do…
O fficials from the Department of Public Health of Seattle and King County issued a press release yesterday that they are currently investigating a confirmed case of measles infection in a traveler who was at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport during the contagious period. The traveler was likely exposed to measles while outside of the United States.
Before officially being diagnosed with measles, the traveler was at the North Satellite Terminal, Satellite Transit Interterminal Train, and Baggage Claim areas of the airport on Saturday, September 6, 2014 between 8:10 through 11:30 in the evening; as well as at The Bistro — which is the restaurant at the Courtyard Seattle Federal Way hotel property — from 9:00 that same evening through 1:00 in the morning on Sunday, September 7, 2014.
Although the risk to the general public is low due to immunity to measles through vaccination, if you were in the aforementioned locations at approximately the same times as the traveler diagnosed with measles, you are advised to:
- Find out if you have been vaccinated for measles or have had measles previously; and
- Call a health care provider promptly if you develop an illness with fever or illness with an unexplained rash between September 13, 2014 and September 27, 2014
- To avoid possibly spreading measles to other patients, do not go to a clinic or hospital without calling first to tell them you want to be evaluated for measles
Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease which can cause fever, rash and cough — as well as red and watery eyes. It is mainly spread through the air after a person diagnosed with measles coughs or sneezes.
Measles symptoms begin seven to 21 days after exposure. It is contagious from approximately four days before the rash appears through four days after the rash appears. People can spread measles before they have the characteristic measles rash.
People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are unvaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.
Children should be vaccinated with two doses of the Measles Mumps Rubella — or MMR — vaccine. The first dose should be administered at 12 through 15 months of age, and the second dose at four through six years of age. Infants traveling outside the United States can be vaccinated as early as six months but must receive the full two dose series beginning at 12 months of age; more information is available at the official Internet web site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Adults should have at least one dose of measles vaccine, and two doses are recommended for international travelers, healthcare workers, and students in college, trade school, and other schools after high school.