Measles Reported in Three Airports

MMR vaccination recommended by CDC for all international travelers

airport terminal with famiy traveling

It seems you need to check your measles vaccination before flying this week.

Health officials in three states have issued alerts to airport travelers related to potential measles contaminations.

Anyone who visited airports in Memphis, Newark and Detroit may have been exposed to measles after 2 international travelers were confirmed to have the measles virus, health officials reported.

These measles cases are related to international travel as an ongoing outbreak continues throughout Europe.

The 2017 surge in measles cases included outbreaks in 15 of the 53 countries in the European Region, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

This measles outbreak affected 21,315 people and caused 35 deaths during 2017.

Since most measles cases in the USA are related to international travelers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its Level 1 Travel Alert for measles for various countries.

Dr. Eden Wells, Michigan's Chief Medical Executive, said: “Immunizations are the best way to protect our families and communities from the harmful, sometimes deadly consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles.”

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These three airports were impacted:

  • Memphis - The young child diagnosed with measles arrived at Memphis International Airport on March 12, 2018. 
  • Detroit  - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has confirmed a case of measles in Washtenaw County; the first case in the state in 2018. The individual was hospitalized and is currently recovering. 
  • Newark -  On March 12, 2018, an international traveler with a confirmed case of measles arrived in Terminal B from Brussels and departed for Memphis from Terminal C. If you were at the airport between 12:45 p.m. and 9:00 p.m, you may have been exposed to measles.

Vaccination with at least two doses of the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine remains the most effective measure to prevent the further spread of measles, said the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

In the USA, two approved measles vaccines are available, MMR-II and ProQuad.

The CDC Vaccine Price List provides the private sector vaccine prices for general information, and vaccine discounts can be found here.

Most pediatricians and pharmacies offer the MMR vaccine.

Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects, says the CDC. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.