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Measles Case Reported in Traveler at LAX: Health Officials Issue Exposure Warning

Fourth Infectious Case of Measles in Los Angeles This Year, Third at LAX

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has reported a measles case involving a traveler who passed through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) while infectious on May 19, 2024. This is the third such case of a traveler passing through LAX with an active case of measles this year. The first was on January 25, the second on May 9, and the third on May 19. An additional person with an active case of measles traveled through the city from March 30 to April 1, 2024. 

The traveler, who is not a resident of Los Angeles County, arrived on Lufthansa flight LH 452 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) B, Gate 156 at 3:04 p.m. and connected to flight LH 7852 at Terminal 7, Gate 82 at 8 p.m. No other locations have been identified as potential exposure sites.

Individuals present at LAX TBIT and Terminal 7 between 3:04 p.m. and 9 p.m. on May 19 may be at risk of contracting measles. The Centers for Disease Control and local health departments will notify passengers on the affected flights about their potential exposure.

Those who were at LAX during the specified times should verify their vaccination status. Individuals who have not had measles or have not been vaccinated are at risk of contracting the disease. Symptoms can appear 7 to 21 days post-exposure, meaning those exposed are at risk until June 9.

“Measles spreads through the air and direct contact before you even realize you’re infected, and it can lead to severe disease,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “Measles is highly contagious for those who are not immune. It initially causes fever, cough, and red, watery eyes, followed by a rash, and can result in serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults.”

Recommended Actions for Exposed Individuals:

  • Check Immunization Records: Confirm protection against measles. Those who have not had the disease or the vaccine should consult with a healthcare provider about receiving the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • Contact Healthcare Providers: Notify them immediately if you are pregnant, an infant, have a weakened immune system, or are unimmunized, regardless of vaccination history.
  • Monitor for Symptoms: Watch for fever and/or an unexplained rash from 7 to 21 days after exposure. If symptoms appear, stay home and avoid public places. Call a healthcare provider before visiting a facility to inform them of your potential exposure.

Common Measles Symptoms:

  • High fever (above 101°F)
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Tiny white spots inside the mouth (2-3 days after symptoms begin)
  • Rash (3-5 days after initial symptoms), starting on the face and spreading downward

For more information, individuals can contact the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health or visit their website.

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