The Oklahoma State Department of Health has confirmed the first case of measles in the State of Oklahoma since 1997. The patient was a passenger on a United Airlines Flight from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Thursday, March 12th. The flight arrived at WRWA at 9:30 p.m. and the passenger then went to United baggage claim area six.
Additional information regarding the flight, specifically passenger information, will not be released to the airport. The Oklahoma State Department of Health is working directly with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to contact any passengers on the aircraft who have potentially been exposed.
Because the measles virus is spread by droplets in the air and can linger for a short time, we want to advise travelers and visitors that were in the terminal building on Thursday, March 12 from 9:30 p.m. until 1:30 a.m. that there was a potential for exposure to the measles. Even though the air in the terminal building is replaced with fresh air six to eight times per hour, we want to exercise caution with this disease.
Will Rogers World Airport is reaching out to all employees who were working at the time of the possible exposure. Oklahoma City County Health Department (OCCHD) clinicians will give free Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccinations to impacted WRWA employees at the airport this Sunday at 7:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. OCCHD’s Clinical Services will also be offering free limited MMR vaccinations to the public at the NE 23rd & Kelley clinic on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Persons who have been properly vaccinated or were born before 1957, are not at risk. Persons who have not been properly vaccinated have a greater risk of contracting the disease.
Symptoms of measles commonly appear about seven to 14 days after a person is infected, but can appear as far as 18 days after infection. The initial exposure was March 12, so there is potential for a person to show symptoms through March 30.
- Begins with moderate fever, cough, runny nose and sore throat
- 3-5 days later a rash appears that starts at the hairline then spreads through the rest of the body
- When rash appears, the fever may go as high as 103-105 degrees
If a person should display symptoms, they should contact their doctor or the Oklahoma City- County Health Department BEFORE going to the office or clinic. They should advise the doctor that they have been exposed to the measles.
If you have questions or need to report a case of measles, you can contact the Oklahoma City-County Health Department at 405-425-4495.
More information about measles can be found at http://www.ok.gov/health2/documents/Measles.2015.pdf.
Information about immunization can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html.