NEWARK, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Health said any person who was in Newark Liberty International Airport on Sept. 28, 2018, between 5:30 and 10:30 a.m. may have been exposed to measles.
Someone flying from Tel Aviv in Israel had the highly contagious infection and arrived in Terminal B at the airport, the department said. The person, whose name was not released, may have traveled to other areas of the airport.
Anyone who was infected could develop symptoms as late as Oct. 19, the health department said. Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.
A person who has not received the measles vaccination or ever had the illness is at risk if they are exposed, the DOH said.
"Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan in a statement. “We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but it also protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons.”
The department urged that anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to call a health care provider before to a doctor’s office or emergency room. To protect the spread of infection, arrangements can be made for an evaluation.
Measles can easily spread through the air if someone infected coughs or sneezes. Coming in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person can also spread measles, the DOH said.
A measles infection in a pregnant woman can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or a low birth weight, according to the DOH.
The World Health Organization recommends that adults and adolescents should check their immune status and get a dose of the measles vaccine before traveling.
The person who traveled to the Newark Airport with measles went to Rockland County in New York and there was no further exposure in New Jersey, the DOH said.
Click here to learn more about what to do you suspect you were exposed to measles.