LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County health officials have confirmed a fourth case of measles involving someone who traveled through the county, this one centered around a passenger who flew in and out of Los Angeles International Airport, the third such incident at LAX in the past two months.
The latest case involved a passenger who arrived at and departed from the airport on April 3, according to a statement from the Department of Public Health.
The person arrived at Terminal 7, Gate 70A between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Between 7 p.m. and 10:40 p.m., the person also visited B Grill by BOA Steakhouse in Terminal 7 before departing from Gate 81 in Terminal 8.
There is no known current risk related to measles that exists at any of these venues at this time, health officials said.
Terminals 7 and 8 are used for flights by United Airlines and United Express.
“Although L.A. County is not experiencing an outbreak, measles outbreaks are occurring nationally and internationally and exposures related to travel can occur,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, the county’s health officer. “This underscores the importance for those who are not immunized against measles to get the measles immunization.”
People who were on the flights have been contacted and those who are symptom-free after April 24 are no longer at risk.
Common symptoms associated with measles include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a rash which usually appears 10 to 21 days after exposure. Anyone who develops measles symptoms should contact their doctor by phone before visiting their doctor’s office.
Two previous measles cases involved passengers who passed through LAX. The first involved a China Eastern passenger who arrived at LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal on Feb. 21 and departed later that day on a Delta Airlines flight out of Terminal 3.
On March 5, a passenger on board a United Airlines flight arrived at Gate 76A at Terminal 7 and later visited an Enterprise Rent-A-Car location in Santa Monica.
A person infected with measles passed through Long Beach Airport on March 30, boarding a JetBlue flight at Gate 11, departing at 6:40 a.m. The unidentified person departed on the same flight at the same time on Sunday, but from Gate 7.
Anyone who was in those areas between 6 and 8 a.m. on either date may have been exposed and could be at risk of developing measles, health officials said.
Measles warning issued for spring break travel season
With measles outbreaks occurring nationally and internationally and the increase in travel during the spring break season, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is reminding everyone who has not been immunized against measles to get the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) immunization. Spring travel and attending large-scale events, especially in places with ongoing outbreaks, can increase your chances of exposure to measles.
Travelers taking domestic trips should follow the general Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) vaccination recommendations. Those traveling internationally should consider the expedited schedule, particularly for children and anyone who does not have evidence of immunity.
According to the CDC, 555 cases of measles have been confirmed in the United States so far this year. This is the second-highest level in 25 years, with the number of measles cases expected to rise.
Measles is considered among the most contagious viruses in the world. About 90 percent of non-immune individuals become infected if exposed.
The CDC recommends that all children receive two doses of MMR vaccine, the first between the ages of 12 to 15 months, and the second between the ages of 4 and 6 years. People who may have been exposed to measles and who have not been immunized, may receive measles immunization and be protected from developing the disease.
Measles immunizations are available at healthcare providers, local pharmacies or health clinics. Public Health clinics offer no or low-cost immunizations for individuals who are uninsured or underinsured. To find a nearby Public Health clinic, call 2-1-1 or visit http://www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/phcenters.htm.
For more information about measles, visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/measles or call 2-1-1.