Reporting Kai Jackson
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Health alert on the train. A person carrying a very contagious illness came through the Baltimore area.
Kai Jackson explains who is at risk of measles.
Concern about the measles understandably puts people on edge. The state health department is trying to separate fact from fiction.
Millions of people ride Amtrak trains in the northeast corridor each year. Yet the state health department says one passenger was carrying more than a ticket last week.
“Well, measles is a vaccine preventable disease,” said David Blythe, epidemiologist.
The state health department says it happened on Aug. 17. Apparently, a passenger riding Amtrak’s northeast regional train #171 had measles.
The passenger boarded the train in Philadelphia and headed south, traveling through Aberdeen, Baltimore, BWI Airport and New Carrollton, Md. The passenger left the train in Lynchburg, Va.
“Who wants to be on the train and have to worry about stuff like that?” said Lauren Washington, of Woodlawn.
Measles is a contagious rash caused by a virus and spread through airborne droplets. Symptoms include a rash, high fever, runny nose, red or watery eyes and a cough.
The state health department is warning people about the case of measles on the Amtrak train and is encouraging those who may have been affected to look for signs of the viral infection.
“What we’re asking is for people on that train, particularly people on that train who were not vaccinated or had measles as a child, to be on the lookout over the next few weeks for the signs and symptoms of measles,” Blythe said.
The state health department says there haven’t been any reported cases of measles among Maryland residents since 2009.