Travelers may have been exposed to measles at O’Hare last week, officials say

CHICAGO (WGNTV) -- A passenger arriving on an international flight at Chicago's O'Hare Airport last Wednesday may have exposed some people in the airport to measles, health officials say.

While they stress there is no current risk to the public, the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a statement that anyone inside O’Hare between 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. on January 10 may have been exposed to the measles virus.

On January 10, a passenger on an international flight with a contagious case of the measles arrived in O'Hare's Terminal 5 and traveled through Terminal 1, possibly in addition to other areas of the airport, officials say.

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UNDATED: In this handout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a thin-section transmission electron micrograph (TEM) reveales the ultrastructural appearance of a single virus particle, or 'virion', of measles virus. in this undated image. Measles outbreaks have been reported throughout the U.S., with the latest reported February 5, 2015 at a daycare in suburban Chicago where as many as five children under the age of one have been infected. (Photo by CDC via Getty Images)
MILL VALLEY, CA - JANUARY 26: In this photo illustration, vials of measles, mumps and rubella vaccine are displayed on a counter at a Walgreens Pharmacy on January 26, 2015 in Mill Valley, California. An outbreak of measles in California has grown to 68 cases with 48 of the cases being linked to people who had visited Disneyland. Nine additional cases have been reported in five states and Mexico. (Photo by Illustration Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 28: Miami Children's Hospital pediatrician Dr. Amanda Porro, M.D prepares to administer a measles vaccination to a child at the Miami Children's Hospital on January 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. A recent outbreak of measles has some doctors encouraging vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
1972: In this handout from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a histopathology of measles pneumonia is seen in this microscope image from 1972. Measles outbreaks have been reported throughout the U.S., with the latest reported February 5, 2015 at a daycare in suburban Chicago where as many as five children under the age of one have been infected. (Photo by CDC via Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 28: In this photo illustration, a bottle containing a measles vaccine is seen at the Miami Children's Hospital on January 28, 2015 in Miami, Florida. A recent outbreak of measles has some doctors encouraging vaccination as the best way to prevent measles and its spread. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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ACEH, INDONESIA - NOVEMBER 14: Students receive immunizations against TD (Tetanus Toxoid) and DT (Diphtheria Tetanus) during the implementation of the School Children Immunization Month in Lhokseumawe, on November 14, 2016 in Aceh, Indonesia. TD immunization shots (Tetanus Toxoid) and DT (diphtheria tetanus) to prevent measles, diphtheria and tetanus, which aims to improve the health of students in Indonesia. PHOTOGRAPH BY Fachrul Reza / Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read Fachrul Reza / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
AMAZON, MANAUS, AMAZONAS STATE, BRAZIL - 2016/03/16: Measles, a highly contagious infection caused by the measles virus is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected - red rash which usually starts on the face and then spreads to the rest of the body is the typical symptom. Fundacao de Medicina Tropical do Amazonas ( Amazon Tropical Medicine Foundation ), Manaus city, Brazil. (Photo by Ricardo Funari/Brazil Photos/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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The passenger was diagnosed with measles after arriving in his home state. Soon afterwards, the Centers for Disease Control learned of the case and contacted passengers who sat next to the passenger during his journey. Health agencies are now working to inform others who were inside O'Hare on January 10 that they may have been exposed.

"If you weren’t at O'Hare on January 10 there’s no concern, and even if you were the risk was very, very low, and even if you’ve been vaccinated it’s next to nothing,” said CDPH Chief Medial Officer Dr. Allison Arwady.

Since the vaccine that protects people from measles is a standard childhood vaccine, travelers who received it as a child are generally protected. But if you have not been vaccinated or you were traveling with small children that day you should check in with your doctor, officials say.

If you were exposed to measles, symptoms could come on as late as January 31, and include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes. If you think you have it, do not go to the doctor’s office right away; call first so you don’t infect anyone else.

The Chicago Department of Public Health says there is no current risk for travelers coming into or out of O'Hare and they do not expect an outbreak, but it's a good reminder to make sure you and your children have all your vaccinations.

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