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Health Officials Warning Passengers Of Measles Exposure At Philadelphia International Airport

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Anyone who visited the Philadelphia International Airport last week may have been exposed to the measles, health officials announced Friday. The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the exposure occurred on Oct. 2 in Terminal F from 6:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. and Oct. 3 in Terminal F from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m., Terminal A from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and Terminal A/B shuttle bus from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The warning comes after an individual with a suspected case of the measles was at the Philadelphia International Airport on those dates.

airport measles
Credit: CBS3

"An individual with a suspected case of measles was present in the Philadelphia International Airport on two days and may have exposed many individuals," Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine said. "The Department of Health is working with the county and municipal health departments to notify Pennsylvanians who were on flights with the suspected case, but other individuals may have been exposed at the airport during the identified times."

The health department is working with county and municipal health officials to notify people who were on flights with the suspected case.

But the department says other people may have been exposed at the airport during the identified times.

Eyewitness News spoke with frequent flyers about the announcement.

"It just seems pretty dangerous. Somebody could affect a lot of people and infect a lot of people with something like measles," traveler Rick Stevens said. "I grew up in an age where pretty much everybody that I knew was vaccinated and I think one of the things that's so tough now is that there's some people choosing not to do that and so it affects a lot people, whether they realize it or not."

Measles is a highly contagious disease that spreads through coughing, sneezing or coming into contact with the mucus or saliva of an infected person. Symptoms usually appear one to three weeks after exposure and could include a rash, fever, cough and red, watery eyes.

If you've been received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine, you are at a low risk of contracting the disease. The people most at-risk are babies who have not received the vaccine or adults who only received one dose of the vaccine.

Fifteen cases of measles have been confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2019 and more than 1,200 cases have been reported across the United States.

If you believe you might have been exposed and experience symptoms, contact your health care provider or call Pennsylvania's toll-free hotline at 1-877-PA-HEALTH.

For more information on the measles, click here.

CBS3's Alexandria Hoff contributed to this report.

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