Va. Issues Warning for Possible Measles Exposure at D.C. Airports

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Jan. 17, 2024 -- Virginia health officials say travelers might have been exposed to measles at the two main airports in the Washington, D.C., area earlier this month.

The state’s Health Department says it was notified of confirmed cases at Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan National Airport.

The department issued a warning to travelers who were near the international arrivals area of the main terminal at Dulles between 4 and 8 p.m. on Jan. 3 and to those in Terminal A of Reagan between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 4. 

“Measles is a highly contagious illness that can spread easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes,” the health department said in a release.

In the first stage of symptoms, most people have a fever of greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery red eyes, and a cough, it says. Symptoms usually start a week or two after exposure.

The second stage of symptoms starts three to face days after symptoms begin. A rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body, the department says. People with measles are contagious from four days before the rash appears through four days after it appears.

Anyone at risk of developing measles, or who might have been exposed, should isolate and notify their health care provider if symptoms begin, the department says.

The Hill also reported that the D.C. Health Department put out a similar warning. 

“DC Health has been notified of a confirmed case of measles in a person who traveled through DC area airports when returning from international travel,” the department wrote. “While the threat of transmission is low, DC Health is notifying District residents who were at these locations about their possible exposure.”