By Cody Roark
Virginia Health Officials warn of possible measles exposure for people travelling at Richmond International Airport. Tuesday night, a person suspected of having the highly-contagious virus was believed to have been in the busy airport. Its believed the person was there around 9 p.m. to 11:45 p.m.
“Of note, the individual did not pick up bags in baggage claim and proceeded directly to a private vehicle at curbside for transport,” official said in an official news release. They mentioned that they were releasing this information “out of an abundance of caution.” It is also suspected that the infected person visited Health Visions MD, in Midlothian, on Thursday between 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Measles is spread through coughing, sneezing and contact with mucus or saliva from an infected person’s nose, mouth, or throat. Symptoms usually appear in two separate stages. Most infected usually have symptoms begin with a fever greater than 101 degrees, runny nose, watery eyes, and a cough. The second stage begins between the third and seventh day. This stage involves a rash that appears on the face and spreads over the entire body. Health officials believe anyone exposed to measles from the suspected individual would develop symptoms as early as January 11.
Health Officials also noted that if a person notices symptoms of measles, he or she should stay home and keep away from others. Follow up immediately by calling a doctor or health department. Always call ahead before going to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
Measles is easily preventable through a safe and effective MMR vaccine. The best protection against future measles cases is the vaccination of all susceptible persons. Two doses are recommended for most individuals with the first dose given at age 12-15 months and the second prior to kindergarten entry (age 4-6 years).
Measles outbreaks have occurred more often over the past two years. This disease is highly contagious and is common among popular tourist destinations around the world. All people traveling this holiday season should account for factors such as this and take appropriate precautions.