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Measles identified in traveler who passed through LAX

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Public health officials announced Sunday they have been notified of a case of measles in a non-county resident who traveled to Los Angeles International Airport while infectious last week.

This person arrived on Lufthansa Flight LH 452 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal B, Gate 156 at 3:04 p.m. Sunday, May 19, and connected to Flight LH 7852 at Terminal 7, Gate 82 at 8 that night. There were no additional locations where possible exposures to this traveler might have occurred.

Possibly exposed individuals should confirm whether they have been vaccinated against measles. If they have not had measles in the past and have not yet obtained the measles vaccine, they are at risk of contracting the disease if they were exposed. Non-immunized people or those with unknown immunization status who were at this location during the date and times listed above are at risk of developing measles from seven to 21 days after being exposed.

"Measles is spread by air and by direct contact even before you know you have it and can lead to severe disease," said Los Angeles County Health Officer Dr. Muntu Davis. "Measles is highly contagious for those who are not immune to it. Initially causing fever, cough, red, watery eyes and followed by a rash, it can result in serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults."

Common symptoms include:

The measles rash typically starts at the face and spreads down to the rest of the body. Measles spreads easily through air when an infected person breathes, talks, coughs or sneezes. The virus can stay in the air and on surfaces for many hours, even after the infected person has left. The infected person can spread the disease up to four days before a measles rash appears and up to four days after the rash appears.

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The MMR vaccine protects against three diseases: measles, mumps and rubella. The MMRV vaccine also protects against chickenpox.

The vaccines are administered in two doses and are highly effective: two doses are 97% effective against measles and one dose is 93% effective. The spread of measles can be prevented if two-dose coverage of the vaccine remains at 95% or above in the community. For more information on measles, click here.

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