A measles warning for Portland has been declared after a Delta Airlines passenger arriving from Europe passed on the deadly virus to two other passengers. Measles, once nearly cured in the western world, is making a comeback due to the rise of the anti-immunization movement.
What are the details?
According to Rene’s Points, two people arriving off the ten-hour flight from Amsterdam had contracted the disease from a fellow passenger on board. Upon investigation, ‘patient zero’ had spent time in countries that have yet to eradicate the hostile disease and had not been vaccinated either. Anyone who was onboard Delta’s October 12 flight DL179 has been advised to contact health officials.
Why is this so serious?
Measles is very contagious diseases that look like a full-body rash of tiny bumps. It goes on to infect different parts of the body and ultimately results in a high fatality rate. Because of this, governments are very aware of the dangers posed by the virus and keep a lookout of it entering their country through air and seaports.
It spreads through surfaces and the air; someone coughing can easily transmit it to others. Aircraft are generally quite good at managing airflow, but coming into contact with viruses is still possible.
“Measles is a highly infectious disease, and it doesn’t take much to spread it from one person to another, particularly in the close quarters of an airline flight,” said Ann Thomas, MD, public health physician at OHA to KGW news. “It’s a good reminder of how important it is to make sure all adults and children in your household are up to date on vaccines.”
Because the three passengers had disembarked and wandered around the airport before they were caught, it is possible that the virus could have been transferred to any number of other people in the facility. The three passengers also left the airport and started their own outbreaks in the following areas:
Multnomah County, Lane County, Eugene, Washington County, Beaverton, and Clackamas County.
If you have been in any of these areas recently and are not immune (or are starting to show any symptoms) then health officials would like you to follow these instructions found here.
What do you think of this news? Do you know anyone that was in Portland Airport? Let us know in the comments.