O’Hare Passengers Face Possible Measles Exposure

Travelers at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on January 10th are being encouraged to visit a doctor over a potential exposure to measles.

Health officials say a passenger with infectious measles arrived around 6:30 a.m. on January 10th into Terminal 5 on an international flight.  The passenger had a layover until approximately 1 p.m. in Terminal 1 waiting for a domestic flight. While any passenger in those terminals in those hours who have not been vaccinated are most at risk, all passengers are encouraged to visit a medical professional.

“Measles is a very contagious virus, and it can hang around in the air for up to an hour or two after a person has left,”  University of Chicago Medicine’s Dr. Allison Bartlett told CBS Chicago. “Certainly the people who were on the plane with this individual are at risk of getting the infection, but so are the other people who may have shared the same space with this person during this six-hour period that they were at O’Hare.”

It could take until the end of the month for anyone infected to begin showing symptoms.

The CDC says early signs of measles include runny nose, high fever, red eyes and coughing.   Three to five days later the familiar flat red rash will break out across the body.

Health officials say two doses of measles vaccine can protect up to 97 percent of patients.