Measles is extremely contagious. A single ill person can infect up to 90% of the people who’ve been near them. That’s why health departments warn the general public when there’s a known exposure.
Health officials are reaching out to passengers who were on the same flights as the infected travelers, but they are also urging anyone who was in these airports during the times of concern to watch themselves and their loved ones for symptoms, particularly those who are pregnant or who may have weakened immune systems.
In this case, three sick travelers passed through the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Terminals 4 and 5 between 6:50 a.m. and noon on Dec. 11.
Similarly, three children who were ill traveled through the Denver International Airport (DIA) on Dec. 11 between 1:15 and 5:45 p.m. They passed through concourse A and took the train to baggage claim, west baggage claim, and the west level 4 pickup area.
On Thursday, Dec. 12, the children went to the emergency room at Children’s Hospital Colorado Anschutz Campus in Aurora. People there may have been exposed to measles.
The three children were unvaccinated and had recently been to a country where there was a measles outbreak, according to the Tri-County Health Department.
Doctors are also urging everyone, especially people who are traveling abroad, to get the measles vaccine, which is highly effective. Babies who are traveling can get the vaccine ahead of schedule. Babies and young children are the most vulnerable to infection.