Woman With Measles Prompts Nationwide Scare

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A woman infected with measles prompts a nationwide scare and she could have passed the deadly disease to people in Maryland.

Jessica Kartalija has more.

The Centers for Disease Control says passengers may have picked up more than they bargained for on a flight out of BWI.

“We had an instance last week of an international traveler here in Baltimore who was, in fact, found to be contagious,” said Fran Phillips, Maryland Deputy Health Secretary.

According to the CDC, a 27-year-old woman infected with measles flew from London’s Heathrow Airport to Washington Dulles.  Two days later, she flew from BWI to Denver to Albuquerque.  Passengers on a flight from Denver to San Diego may also be affected.

Authorities are now working to notify anyone seated within five rows of the woman that they may have been exposed to the virus.

“It was important that we got information out to anyone that might have been exposed and wasn’t vaccinated,” Phillips said.

“How can they possibly contact everyone?” said one woman. 

Symptoms begin eight to 12 days after exposure and include bloodshot eyes, cough and sore throat, fever, muscle pain and rash.

“There’s always a risk of catching something when people sneeze or cough,” said one man. 

Measles can easily be spread through the air when someone coughs or sneezes.  Anyone who flew through Southwest Terminal A Tuesday should call airport officials or their doctors.

The number of measles cases dropped over the past several decades but has started to rise again, due to parents not getting their children vaccinated.

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