The L.A. County Health Department confirmed one case of measles in a resident who traveled through Los Angeles International Airport while infectious on January 25, 2024.
By News Desk
The individual arrived at LAX on Turkish Airlines 009 flight at the Tom Bradley International Airport (TBIT) Terminal B, Gate 157 on January 25, 2024, at 5:00 pm.
Individuals who were at Terminal B from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm may be at risk of developing measles due to exposure to this traveler. In collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control, passengers assigned to specific seats on Turkish Airlines 009 on January 25, 2024, may have been exposed and will be notified by local Departments of Health.
This infected person also visited the following venue:
- Chick-Fil-A (18521 Devonshire St., Northridge, CA 91324) on January 25, 2024. Individuals who were at this restaurant between 8:00 pm to 10:30 pm may be at risk of developing measles due to exposure to this person.
People who have not been immunized against measles or those with unknown immunization status who were at these locations on the afternoon and evening of January 25, 2024 are at risk of developing measles from seven to 21 days after being exposed. Individuals who have been free of symptoms for more than 21 days are no longer at risk.
Additional locations where possible exposures may have occurred are being investigated by Public Health.
Public Health Advice
“Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know you have it and can lead to severe disease,” said Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “Measles is highly contagious for those who are not immune to it. Initially causing fever, cough, red, watery eyes, and followed by a rash, it can result in serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults.”
People who were in the locations above on January 25 should:
- Review their immunization and medical records to determine if they are protected against measles. People who have not had measles infection or received the measles immunization previously may not be protected from the measles virus and 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, are caring for an infant who may have been exposed, have a weakened immune system and/or are unimmunized regardless of vaccination history.
- 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 avoid school, work and any large gatherings, and call a healthcare provider immediately. Do not enter a health care facility before calling them and making them aware of your measles exposure and symptoms. Public Health can assist health care providers in appropriately diagnosing and managing your care.
- High fever (higher than 101° F)
- Runny nose
- Red and watery eyes
- Tiny white spots that may appear inside the mouth 2-3 days after symptoms begin.
- Rash 3-5 days after other signs of illness. The “measles rash” typically starts at the face and then spreads down to the rest of the body.
Measles spreads easily through the air when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs, or sneezes. The virus can stay in the air and on surfaces for many hours, even after the infected person has left. The infected person can spread the disease up to four days before a measles rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.
If other people breathe the contaminated air or touch the infected surface, then touch their eyes, noses, or mouths, they can become infected.
Measles can be prevented. The MMR vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. The MMRV vaccine protects against four diseases: measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (chickenpox). They are administered in two doses and are highly effective: two doses are 97% effective against measles and one dose is 93% effective. The spread of measles can be prevented if 2-dose coverage of vaccine remains at 95% or above in the community.
Most health insurances cover the cost of the MMR and MMRV vaccine. Insured persons should check with their doctor or local pharmacy. Uninsured or underinsured children and adults can access free or low-cost vaccines at clinics enrolled in the Vaccines for Children (VFC) and Vaccines for Adults (VFA) program. For a list of clinics that offer free or low-cost immunizations for persons who are uninsured or underinsured, call 2-1-1 or visit this list.
In 2019, the County had an outbreak of 20 measles cases among Los Angeles County residents, and in 2020, there were five measles cases reported among residents. There have been no other cases until this one in 2024.
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