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L.A. Public Health Confirms Case of Measles Traveled Through LAX

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is assessing a non-resident measles case that traveled through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) while infectious and is also looking to identify others who are at risk for measles and may have been exposed to this person. Public Health urges residents, especially those who travel internationally and those who have not been fully protected against measles, to get the measles immunization in order to better protect their individual health and to prevent the spread of measles to others.

Other people may have been exposed to measles since this person visited public locations while infectious. Potential public exposure locations and times were as follows:

5/26/2019
LAX Airport
Terminal 4, Gate 48B
9:30 AM – 12:30 PM

5/28/2019
LAX Airport
Remote Gate, Tom Bradley International Terminal
3:30 PM – 5:30 PM

There is no known current risk related to measles that exists at any of these venues at this time.

Anyone who may have been at these locations on those dates may be at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days after being exposed. People who were in the location(s) above around the same time(s) should:

• Review their immunization and medical histories if they don’t already know they are protected against measles. People who have not had measles or the measles immunization should talk with a health care provider about receiving Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) immunization.
• Contact and notify their health care provider as soon as possible about a potential exposure if they are pregnant, an infant, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized.
• Monitor themselves for illness with fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 days to 21 days after their exposure (the time period when symptoms may develop); if symptoms develop, stay at home and call a health care provider immediately.

Public Health is also working with LAX and the airline to contact people who may have been exposed to this case and who are at risk of developing measles, especially those at increased risk of severe outcomes, such as infants, pregnant women, and those with compromised or weak immune systems.

Currently, there are eight measles cases among Los Angeles County residents in 2019, and this makes seven non-resident measles cases that traveled through Los Angeles County. Of the eight measles cases among residents, three are not linked to any of the others, and two of these cases are linked to international travel. The majority of the cases were unvaccinated.

Additional cases and exposures may occur here related to returning travelers, especially returning international travelers who are not already protected against measles. Public Health encourages everyone who can to be up-to-date with their recommended immunizations.

“For those who are not protected, measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that initially causes fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and, finally, a rash,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “It gets spread, by air and by direct contact, even before you know have it. The MMR immunization is a very effective measure to protect yourself and to prevent the unintentional spread of this potentially serious infection to others.”

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