Traveler transports measles through LAX as cases rise in the US

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A traveler with measles flew from Munich, Germany, via Los Angeles en route to Fresno Yosemite International Airport in May, exposing thousands of travelers from California to the highly contagious disease, health officials have confirmed.

LA County Department of Public Health officials confirmed the case late May 27, bringing the total number of documented measles cases in California for the year to nine.

The sick traveler arrived at Los Angeles International Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal on a Lufthansa flight on May 19 around 3 p.m. and then boarded a connecting flight to Fresno Yosemite around 8 that evening, Los Angeles health officials confirmed. Fresno.

No associated infections have been reported to date.

This is not the first time this year that someone traveling through California has brought the virus to Los Angeles.

In February, a local resident came home on a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul and stopped for dinner at a Northridge Chick-fil-A.

In late March and early April, a sick visitor dined on donuts and fried chicken in the Simpsons area of ​​Universal Studios, searched for souvenirs on the Santa Monica Pier, ate at a series of fast-casual chain restaurants around the city and hit the gym repeatedly at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel near LAX before being identified by health officials.

Measles is about six times more contagious than COVID-19 and is often fatal in countries where the disease is endemic. By 2022, about 130,000 people are expected to have died from the virus, mainly children.

“Measles is spread through the air and through direct contact, even before you know you have it, and can lead to serious illness,” says Dr. Muntu Davis, Los Angeles County Health Officer. “Measles is highly contagious to those who are not immune to it. Initially it causes fever, coughing, red, watery eyes and is followed by a rash, but it can result in serious complications for young children and vulnerable adults.”

The latest LAX infection is one of more than 140 recorded in the United States so far this year — more than double the total reported last year.

More than half of these cases required hospitalization, officials said. Most were among people who had not been vaccinated.

Most Americans are vaccinated against measles as toddlers, although the rate among California children has fallen in recent years, raising concerns that the virus could spread locally.

Los Angeles Times from 2024. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Quote: Traveler carries measles through LAX as US cases rise (2024, May 30) retrieved May 30, 2024 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-05-measles-lax-cases.html

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