Another Traveler With Measles Entered LA Through LAX
Once again, someone with measles has entered L.A. County through LAX.
The County Department of Public Health issued a warning that the infected person flew in on United Airlines Flight 240 on March 5 and was in the airport's Terminal 7 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The next morning the individual was at Enterprise Rent-A-Car on Wilshire Blvd. in Santa Monica from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Anyone exposed to the virus is at risk of developing measles for up to 21 days.
This is the second measles-infected traveler through LAX this year, and the third in the last three months.
An infected person arrived on a China Eastern Flight at LAX's Tom Bradley International Terminal on Feb. 21 and had a layover in Terminal 3 before departing on a Delta flight. Anyone exposed to that individual is no longer considered at risk if they haven't developed symptoms by now.
As of March 14, there have been 268 confirmed cases of measles in 15 states. As of March 7, California had eight of those cases and L.A. had one (travelers through the airport aren't counted as L.A. residents).
California's last big measles outbreak started around Christmas 2014 at Disneyland. It ultimately led to 147 cases in seven states, Mexico and Canada.
"If you're not immune, the virus will infect you and you will come down with the illness," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, chief medical officer at LA Public Health.
He's referring to how infectious the measles virus is. For those who aren't vaccinated, 90 percent of those exposed will get sick.
"The good news is most people are immunized," he said.
WHAT'S THE RISK?
- The virus can stay in the air for two hours after an infected person leaves the room. (That's why it's so good at spreading.)
- Measles is a serious disease that puts a quarter of the people who get it in the hospital.
- It can lead to swelling in the brain.
- It can kill, especially babies, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.
- It can cause a pregnant woman to miscarry.