Fort Worth

Tarrant County Public Health reports possible measles exposure at DFW Airport

Anyone traveling though Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on May 15 needs to be aware they could have been exposed to measles.

Tarrant County Public Health (TCPH) said Thursday it has confirmed that a traveler who arrived at DFW Airport on May 15 and connected to another flight has tested positive for measles.

Possible exposures may have occurred at DFW airport on May 15 at the Terminal D customs area from 5:15 to 7:45 p.m., the Skylink train from 5:45 to 8 p.m., and Terminal A in the area of gate 8 from 6 p.m. to 10:50 p.m.

If you haven’t been vaccinated, measles is highly infectious. It can be transmitted when an infected person exhales or coughs to others via airborne droplets. The droplets can stay in the air after the infectious person leaves the area.

Anyone who believes they may have been exposed should check their immunization records or contact their doctor.

The greatest concern is for those who have not been vaccinated, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals.

Most adults need one dose of the measles vaccine, including those who received a measles vaccine between 1957 and 1989.

The following individuals should receive vaccine if traveling internationally or to sites of active outbreaks:

Infants six months through 11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR vaccine.

Children 12 months of age and older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine separated by at least 28 days.

Adults should be sure they have had at least two doses of MMR vaccine.

Note: those born between 1957 and 1989 may have had only one dose of MMR vaccine and should receive a second dose. Symptoms with measles begin 2-4 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and runny nose, and red, watery eyes.

They are followed by a rash that is red, raised, and blotchy and a fever that may spike to or over 103F. The rash may last for 5-6 days and may turn brown. A person with measles can make other people sick 4 days before and after their rash begins for a total of 9 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said this is the highest number of cases in the United States since 1994. Most are concentrated in close-knit communities, but some have been caused by international travelers who were not vaccinated.

In March, Tarrant County reported its first measles case since 2015. In April, Dallas County reported its first case since 2017.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram