N.J. Measles: If you were at Newark Airport on May 8, theres a chance you were exposed to measles – NJ.com

N.J. Measles: If you were at Newark Airport on May 8, there\s a chance you were exposed to measles - NJ.com
Measles: Newark Airport passenger may have exposed others to disease
Travelers passing through Newark International Airport. (Robert Sciarrino | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com) NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

Another traveler with measles may have infected people at Newark Liberty International Airport; the second such case reported by the New Jersey Department of Health this month.

Health officials have pushed hard for public awareness and vaccination campaigns which may have helped to protect New Yorkers, but such efforts arent really applicable to the people who were in Terminal B of Newark on May 8 between 2pm and 6pm. 

The traveler, whose name was not released, arrived at Terminal B after a flight from Vienna, Austria on May 8 and was infectious that day, the department announced Friday.

As for the Newark Airport case, theres no telling how many of the passengers and employees might have been unvaccinated – including children too young to get shots – and how many might have come into contact with the infected person. 

Measles outbreak hits Newark Liberty International Airport

Anyone who was infected at the airport could develop symptoms as late as May 29 and anybody who feared they were exposed was asked to call their doctor before doing anything else.

Vulnerable, religious and insular communities are particularly targeted by disinformation campaigns, said CDC vaccine expert Dr Nancy Messonier, though officials said they could not determine why these groups are targets.  

Measles usually starts with symptoms that include fever, coughing and a rash that typically starts on the face.

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, said New Jersey state epidemiologist Dr Christina Tan. 

A New Jersey county has been ranked as one of the most vulnerable in the U.S., partially because of its airport.

Measles is extremely contagious, and I strongly urge unvaccinated New Yorkers to immediately get the vaccine, unless there is a medical condition that prevents them from doing so, said Dr Barbot in a Friday statement.  

People can also get sick when they come in contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person and anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles was at risk if they were exposed.

New Jersey residents who were potentially exposed on the infected mans flights will be notified by their local health department, health officials said.

Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk of getting sick if they are exposed, the department said.

“Two doses of measles vaccine is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles, state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan said in a release.

Williamsburg remains the epicenter of this outbreak, though we have seen some cases in people outside of the Orthodox Jewish community, said New York City Health Commissioner Dr Oxiris Barbot. 

Earlier this month, the department warned anybody that was at Terminal C on April 16 between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. that they may have been exposed to measles by a traveler from Tel Aviv, Israel.

But last month Mayor Bill DiBlasio declared a state of emergency and mandated that everyone living in areas with outbreaks get vaccinated or face fines – regardless of their religious beliefs. 

Chris Sheldon may be reached at csheldon@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @chrisrsheldon Find NJ.com on Facebook.

New Jersey state health officials say that there is a possible case of measles exposure at Newark Liberty International Airport.

New Jersey health officials have confirmed that a traveler who was at Newark Liberty International Airport (pictured, file) on May 8 had measles, as cases reach 535 in New York City

Officials with the New Jersey Department of Health say that a traveler with a confirmed case of the measles arrived at Terminal B from Vienna, Austria on May 8. Anyone who was inside Terminal B between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. was potentially exposed to the disease.

Whats more, neighboring New York now has 535 cases of measles, an increase of 12 patients in less than a week, according to the newest city data, also released Friday. 

Measles is a highly contagious illness with symptoms that include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious health complications in people who are not immunized. Symptoms from this latest case of exposure may show up as late as May 29.

Several parents filed a lawsuit claiming that the mandate violated their constitutional rights to freedom of religion, but a Brooklyn judge upheld the vaccine order. 

Travelers who were on the flight with the infected person will be notified by their local health department.

In 2017, 43.3 million passengers flew in and out of Newark, which serves as one of the three major hubs for New York City and is the 11th busiest airport in the US. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that cases of the measles are at their highest in the United States in decades. Health officials are urging anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had the measles previously to get the measles vaccine.

“Two doses of measles vaccine is more than 99 percent effective in preventing measles,” state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan said in a statement.

There have been 14 confirmed cases of measles in New Jersey as of May 22, 2019, according to New Jersey health officials. Officials say that 12 of these cases are associated with the 2019 measles outbreak in Ocean County, which was considered to be over as of May 16.


Posted in Newark