TRENTON, NJ - New Jersey Department of Health officials have warned that passengers that traveled through Newark Airport between March 4 at 9:00 p.m. and March 5 at 9:30 a.m. may have been exposed to measles and could develop symptoms as late as March 26.
According to the health alert issued on Monday, the carrier of the highly contagious disease arrived in Terminal C at Newark Liberty International Airport from Aruba and may have traveled to other areas of the airport before departing for California from the same terminal.
New Jersey residents identified as potentially exposed on the ill individual’s flights will be notified by their local health department.
Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, and the infection is especially dangerous for pregnant women as it can lead to miscarriage, premature birth, or a low-birth-weight baby.
The disease is spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes and people can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person.
Officials asked that anyone who suspects they may have been exposed to the disease contact a health care provider before going to a medical office or emergency department so that special arrangements can be made to protect other patients and medical staff from possible infection.
Urging everyone to check to make sure they are up to date with the immunizations, Dr. Christina Tan, state epidemiologist, said that there is 97 percent effective rate in preventing the contagious disease by getting vaccinated, a precaution that not only protects the individual but also “others who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons.”