Newark Airport issues infectious disease alert

BY JILL CUENI-COHEN / JANUARY 13, 2018 /

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NEWARK, New Jersey — Just as the weekend kicked off, the New Jersey Department of Health Health officials warned passengers who have been through Newark Airport that they may have been exposed to a highly-contagious disease.

Passengers who traveled through Newark Airport in New Jersey were issued a measles exposure warning on Friday after the Department of Health confirmed that one international traveler who came down with the highly-contagious disease had gone through the airport on January 2.

“On January 2, 2018, an international traveler with a confirmed case of measles—a highly contagious disease—arrived in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport and departed for Indianapolis from a domestic terminal,” a statement Issued by the Department of Health of New Jersey reads. The woman was identified as an Indiana University (IU) student.

A report from ABC News’ New York affiliate warned that the infected woman may have gone to other areas of the airport.

Anyone who was at Newark Airport on that day between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. may have been exposed to measles. If infected, symptoms could show up as late as January 23.

The disease, which was largely eradicated during the past decade began to re-emerge several years ago, due to immunization fears and an influx of immigrants (see video about a recent outbreak in Minnesota, below), can be easily spread through via coughing and sneezing or coming in contact with the mucus or saliva from an infected person.

Measles symptoms:

  • rash
  • high fever
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • red, watery eyes

Possible complications:

  • pneumonia
  • encephalitis (swelling of the brain)
  • in pregnant women, it can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low-birth-weight baby

Anyone who believes they are infected is urged to go to the doctor or an emergency department.

New Jersey health departments are also working to notify passengers who were potentially exposed on the infected passenger’s flight.

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