Passengers on 4 Southwest Flights May Have Been Exposed to Measles — Here's What We Know
Southwest Airlines and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) have issued a warning for anyone who may have been in contact with a North Texas passenger who has been diagnosed with the measles virus, according to Travel Pulse.
Anyone who has been in contact with the man should seek medical attention, especially those in the state of Texas who have traveled between Dallas, Houston, and Harlingen.
According to an airline representative to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, four flights, in particular, could have been affected:
Flight No. 5: between Dallas and Houston on Aug. 21, 2018
Flight No. 9: between Houston and Harlingen on Aug. 21, 2018
Flight No. 665: between Harlingen and Houston on Aug. 22, 2018
Flight No. 44: between Houston and Dallas on Aug. 22, 2018
ABC News also reported that passengers could experience symptoms as late as September 12. Symptoms for the measles include a high fever, cough, a runny nose, or red, watery eyes. More advanced symptoms include white spots on the inside of the mouth and head-to-toe rash.
Luckily, according to the Houston Health Department on Thursday, the passenger did not appear to visit any airport restaurants or shops, mostly staying in waiting areas, which is extremely important in terms of containing the risk of infection.
Dr. David Persse told ABC News that people who may have been in the same airport as the man are at much lower risk of infection than those who shared a flight.
The airline and the CDC are working diligently to contact other passengers who may have contracted the disease on these flights.
“Our safety and security groups worked with the CDC to support the agency’s work in reaching our customers who traveled onboard four intra-Texas flights last week with a passenger later diagnosed with measles,” a statement from Southwest Airlines said to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Travelers who are unvaccinated are specifically at risk and anyone who may have shared a flight with the man should be aware that symptoms of the virus are not immediately apparent.
According to the CDC, measles is extremely contagious. In fact, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected.
Information about the identity of the passenger has not been released.