The airline says with help from the CDC it contacted travelers who shared a plane weeks ago with a passenger later diagnosed with the highly contagious virus.
Texas Department of Health says it's been more than three weeks since the possible exposure, and they say that's the maximum amount of time it takes to get sick with the measles. No reports of any related cases have been made.
Measles Update: It's been more than three weeks since passengers on four Southwest Airlines flights may have been exposed to measles. Three weeks is the maximum amount of time it takes to get sick with measles and there have been no reports of related cases at this time. https://t.co/kNh194URXQ— Texas DSHS (@TexasDSHS) September 13, 2018
The flights included:
- 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 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 were at a much lower risk of exposure for the virus than those passengers who shared the plane with the 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.