Southwest passengers in Texas possibly exposed to measles

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ABC13's Mayra Moreno reports on possible exposure of measles among passengers on Texas-based Southwest Airlines flights.

Southwest Airlines says passengers on four flights between Dallas, Houston and Harlingen may have been exposed to the measles.

The airline says it has contacted travelers with help from the CDC who shared a plane two weeks ago with a passenger later diagnosed with the highly contagious virus.

These flights include:
  • 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

The Houston Health Department said Thursday night that it is assisting in the investigation into the measles case.

The health department says the patient is from north Texas, and that he or she did not leave the airport or visit any airport restaurants or venues. The patient apparently stayed in a waiting area for about an hour on each of the days listed above.

Dr. David Persse says people at the airport are at a much lower risk of exposure for the virus than those passengers who shared the plane with this patient.
"That's why our focus is on directly contacting the passengers to notify them of the risk, inquire about their vaccination status, and make sure they monitor for symptoms and seek medical attention if necessary," Persse said.

Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose and red, watery eyes.

Any person who was on these flights and who develops measles symptoms should contact their medical provider.

The health department says passengers exposed to the patient may develop symptoms as late as Sept. 12.

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