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Va. issues warning about possible measles exposure at D.C. airports

January 17, 2024 – Virginia health officials say travelers could have been exposed to measles on the two major airports within the Washington, D.C. area earlier this month.

The states Health Department says confirmed cases have been reported at Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan National Airport.

The department issued an alert to travelers who were near the international arrivals area of ​​the major terminal at Dulles on Jan. 3 between 4 and eight p.m. and to those in Reagan's Terminal A on Jan. 4 between 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m :30 p.m.

“Measles is a highly contagious disease that can spread easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes,” a health department news release said.

In the primary stage of symptoms, most individuals have a fever over 101 degrees, a runny nose, watery red eyes and a cough, they are saying. Symptoms often begin one to 2 weeks after exposure.

The second stage of symptoms begins three to days after symptoms begin. A rash appears on the face and spreads to the remaining of the body, the department said. People with measles are contagious from 4 days before the rash appears to 4 days after it appears.

Anyone liable to contracting measles or who could have been infected should isolate and notify their doctor if symptoms occur, the department says.

The Hill also reported that the DC Department of Health issued an identical warning.

“DC Health has been notified of a confirmed case of measles in an individual who traveled through DC area airports upon returning from an international trip,” the department wrote. “Although the risk of transmission is low, DC Health is informing county residents who were in these locations about their possible exposure.”