Measles warning issued to March 6 Detroit Metropolitan Airport travelers


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After an individual traveling at Detroit Metropolitan Airport was confirmed to be contagious with measles, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is urging other travelers to be on the lookout for symptoms of the disease and to seek medical attention if necessary.

The department has warned anyone who was at DTW's customs or baggage claim in the north terminal between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6 should seek medical attention if symptoms develop.

The highly contagious virus spreads through the air and has a 10 to 12 day incubation period. Initial symptoms include a high fever, red eyes, cough, runny nose, and extreme sensitivity to light, followed by a red body rash starting on the head and face that later progresses to the rest of the body. Individuals can be contagious for a few days before symptoms develop. The illness can result in pneumonia, encephalitis, and death if not treated.

The infected traveler was traveling from India, according to The Washington Post. MDHHS reports the person, who is a Washtenaw County resident, is being hospitalized and recovering.

According to MDHHS, it is the first reported case of measles in the state this year. The illness has been on the rise in recent years; in 2017, there were 118 cases in the U.S. including two cases in Michigan.

MDHHS says the best form of measles prevention is vaccination. Nine out of 10 children in the U.S. are vaccinated against the disease, and the vaccination is more then 90 percent effective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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