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Passenger with measles may have exposed others at O’Hare

MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. | Associated Press file photo

A passenger on a flight that landed Wednesday at O’Hare International Airport may have exposed others at the airport to measles.

The passenger, who was infectious at the time, arrived on an international flight at Terminal 5 and departed on a domestic flight from Terminal 1, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The passenger could have exposed others at the airport between 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said. Anyone who thinks they may have been exposed should contact their health care provider.

Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus, according to public health officials. Symptoms include a rash that starts on the face and neck, a high fever, runny nose, cough and red, watery eyes. The rash generally appears about 14 days after exposure.

Most people are vaccinated against measles routinely in childhood and are not at a high risk of contracting the virus, the health department said. Of most concern, are people who have not been vaccinated. If they were infected, symptoms could develop as late as the end of the month.

“Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jennifer Layden with the public health department. “Getting vaccinated not only protects you, it protects others around you who are too young to get the vaccine or can’t receive it for medical reasons.”