Air Travelers Measles. Air travelers are being advised of measles by public health officials at four different airports. People may have been exposed to the virus after arriving from London.
“The appropriate steps are being taken to reach out to those passengers on the plane that were in close enough proximity,” Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said of those seated five rows in front or behind the infected passenger.
Most Americans have been vaccinated for measles or are immune because they’ve had the disease. However, public health officials are concerned about those not immunized, including babies. Pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems are also more at risk.
“We don’t want measles to be imported back into the U.S. once it gets a foothold,” Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville told The Associated Press.
Cases of measles in the U.S. is fewer than 150 annually since 1997. However, it remains a common disease worldwide with an estimated 10 million cases and 164,000 deaths globally each year, according to the CDC. That’s why the center recommends that U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad remain up to date on immunizations.
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