Dallas

Passengers on four Southwest Airlines flights may have been exposed to measles

Southwest Airlines airplanes are parked at terminals at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas
Southwest Airlines airplanes are parked at terminals at Dallas Love Field Airport in Dallas Star-Telegram archived photo

Health officials are seeking Southwest Airlines passengers on four flights who could have been exposed to measles.

The airline stated that someone who was diagnosed with measles was on a Southwest airplane on Aug. 21 and 22, according to an airline representative.

The flights being targeted are:

Aug. 21: Flight No. 5 from Dallas Love Field to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston.

Aug. 21: Flight No. 9 from William P. Hobby in Houston to Valley International Airport in Harlingen.

Aug. 22: Flight No. 665 from Valley International Airport in Harlingen to William P. Hobby Airport in Houston.

Aug. 22: Flight No. 44 from William P. Hobby Airport in Houston to Dallas Love Field.

The Immunization Collaboration of Tarrant County dispenses vaccine to thousands of school aged students in an effort to stamp out common diseases and get kids ready for school.

The airline is not releasing any information regarding the traveler who might have spread the disease, according to a Southwest Airlines spokesman.

“Our safety and security groups worked with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) 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.

“We’ve shared awareness of the situation and protocols with our employees who also were onboard these aircraft,” the statement said.

Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, 90 percent of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected, according to the CDC.

Measles typically begins with a high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes, a statement on the CDC website said. Three to five days after symptoms begin, a rash breaks out. It usually begins as flat red spots that appear on the face at the hairline and spread downward to the neck, trunk, arms, legs, and feet.

Since measles is still common in many countries, unvaccinated travelers bring measles to the U.S. and it can spread. But you can protect yourself, your family, and your community with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.

Small raised bumps may also appear on top of the flat red spots. The spots may become joined together as they spread from the head to the rest of the body. When the rash appears, a person’s fever may spike to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. After a few days, the fever subsides and the rash fades, the CDC website stated.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

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