By Stacey Leasca
April 19, 2019
Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Travelers are once again being warned about a possible measles exposure at Los Angeles International Airport.

According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, a person potentially infected with measles traveled through LAX on April 3. The person, CBS reported, arrived at Gate 70A in Terminal 7 between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and then ate at the B Grill by BOA Steakhouse and walked through Gate 81 at Terminal 8 between 7 p.m. and 10:40 p.m. that evening.

This incident marks the fourth such incident this year at Los Angeles County airports, CBS noted. As KTLA explained, an illness like measles can spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets contain the live virus and can live for up to two hours in the air. Those who haven’t been vaccinated are the most at risk for contracting the illness.

“Although L.A. County is not experiencing an outbreak, measles outbreaks are occurring nationally and internationally and exposures related to travel can occur,” L.A. County health officer Dr. Muntu Davis said in a statement. “This underscores the importance for those who are not immunized against measles to get the measles immunization. With two doses of measles vaccine at about 97 percent effective and one dose about 93 percent effective, measles immunization is the best way to keep from getting and spreading measles.”

While Los Angeles may not be experiencing a measles outbreak, California as a whole is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state has had 23 cases reported this year alone. And, 555 cases have been confirmed in 20 states across the country, KTLA reported.

The last measles case reported at LAX involved a United passenger who flew into Terminal 7 on March 5, according to CBS. Before that, it was a passenger who landed at the Tom Bradley International Terminal on China Eastern and departed Terminal 3 with Delta on Feb. 21. 

While the best thing you can do to avoid measles is to get vaccinated, there’s even more you can do to avoid the common cold, the flu, and contracting other viruses while traveling. That includes frequently washing your hands, avoiding touching your face and other surfaces as much as possible, and packing things like nasal sprays and drinking plenty of water to keep your mucous membranes well hydrated. Want to do more? Here are a few more tips for staying healthy at the airport.

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