NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey officials are scrambling to contain another possible outbreak of the measles after an airline passenger with the illness traveled through a local airport on Christmas Eve.
According to the state’s Department of Health, the passenger arrived in Terminal B at Newark Liberty International Airport on a flight from Brussels on Monday.
Officials believe the flyer may have also visited other areas of the airport and anyone who was at Newark Liberty from noon to 4 p.m. may have been exposed to the contagious disease.
It could take until Jan. 14 for someone who was infected by the passenger to develop symptoms of the measles.
“Measles symptoms include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. It can cause serious complications such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain),” a statement from New Jersey’s Department of Health explained.
This is the second incident involving the measles in the state this year. An ongoing outbreak in Ocean County has reportedly infected 33 people, according New Jersey Health Commissioner Dr. Shereef Elnahal.
Authorities are urging anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the measles to call their doctor before going to see them or visiting an emergency room.
Unvaccinated individuals are the most at risk for infection.
“Anyone who has not been vaccinated or has not had measles is at risk if they are exposed,” state epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan said.
“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.”