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State health officials warned of a potential measles exposure at Newark Liberty International Airport in a Public Health Alert on December 28. On Christmas Eve—a day on which droves of travelers are passing through for the holidays—an infected individual flew into Terminal B from Brussels, Belgium.
The NJ Department of Health warned that those who were in the airport between noon and 4 pm on the 24th could’ve been exposed, and are at risk if they haven’t been vaccinated with the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine. Symptoms could develop as late as January 14.
Measles has already made its way to NJ last October. At least 30 residents in Ocean County and three in Passaic have been infected since the 26th.
Measles is an illness that can spread via body fluid contact or through the air when the sick person coughs or sneezes. Symptoms include a runny nose, red and/or watery eyes, a high fever, rash and cough. Measles can lead to pneumonia and brain swelling and miscarriage, premature birth or low-weight births in infected pregnant women. Kids under 5 years old, expecting mothers and immunocompromised people are most at risk—especially children who can’t be vaccinated and have compromised immune systems.
If you fear you were exposed and start developing symptoms, call the ER or doctor before going so precautions can be taken to keep others from being exposed. Health officials urge the public to get updated on the MMR vaccine: Two doses are about 97 percent effective in preventing infection entirely.
Get updates and more information from the NJ Department of Health.