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With measles outbreaks on the rise, a concern over the connection to air traffic



Today, measles is not just in the headlines. It could also be in your plane.

An adult contagious of the disease flew from Asia to San Francisco in February and infected two more during the flight – an adult and a child – said California health ministries this month.

It is an ominous development in a year in which 228 cases of severe and potentially fatal disease have been seen in 12 states, including six outbreaks of at least three people. All outbreaks in 2019 have been associated with travelers who carried measles from countries with lower vaccination coverage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and who diseased people in areas of the United States where residents are not

Last year, 82 of the 349 people diagnosed with measles carried them from other countries to this country, the highest number of imported cases since the virus was eliminated in 2000 from the United States, the CDC said.

With 17 countries under a C.D.C. Due to their high measles rate, including popular destinations such as England, France and Italy, it seems unlikely that travelers will spread measles in the foreseeable future.

A record of 81 flights was investigated in 2018 because at least one of them was carried person contagious with the disease, compared with 15 investigations in 2017 and 10 in 2016, according to CDC. Of the 106 aircraft, 66 were on domestic flights and the rest carried foreign airports.

Since the United States as a whole has a relatively high measles vaccine coverage, the general population is largely protected by herd immunity. However, there are states and pockets within states with far less compliance, and the concern is that infected airmen will transport measles to these vulnerable areas.

"Suddenly, the one-time introduction of a case can have explosive consequences," Dr. Martin Cetron, Director of the Global Migration and Quarantine Department at the CDC.

Measles are among the most contagious viruses in the world. Unlike the influenza viruses that spread when sneezing or coughing, but then fall off, the measles virus remains floating in the air "like really light dust particles," Dr. Cetron and allowed the pathogens to float for up to two hours

Influenza is spread by an exponent of two, which means that every person who gets it probably has two more infected if people were not immunized, . Measles is likely to be spread among nine [19] and 19 people who are not immunized, depending on the environment and herd immunity of nearby people.

He was 19 months old in 2014 A child joining on a flight from India handed over measles to an airport in Chicago, even though they had not flown on the same plane. The man had arrived from Minnesota and disembarked at the same gate where the toddler was waiting for the return flight.

"Although the transmission could take place anywhere at the airport, where the child and the adult had a common airspace, this was most likely the case of the gate area" the CDC wrote in its report on the incident. The airport was not identified.

The child had received a measles vaccine at 12 months, but not the recommended booster dose. The vaccination history of the man was unknown. No messaging system is set up to alert at-risk travelers to potential airport occupancy.

In airplanes, however, the law requires that the C.D.C. health officials identify someone with the measles as contagious on board. In these cases, health officials use the flight manifest to contact those sitting in two rows of the infected passenger. They also notify everyone on the plane with a lap-child, assuming they are more likely to walk around the plane, the C.D.C.

If a unvaccinated person can be notified quickly, they may receive a dose of the MMR vaccine within 72 hours of exposure that may prevent them from getting the disease or reducing its severity. If the notification occurs within six days, or if the person can not receive the vaccine and is notified within that time, they may receive a shot of immunoglobulin, which is a pre-engineered antibody.

"The protection against either of these is definitely not 100 percent, so none of them has been vaccinated as well as before," Dr. Matthew Zahn, Medical Director of Epidemiology, Orange County Health Care Agency, California.

On a plane carrying an infectious traveler, those most at risk are those who are too young to be vaccinated and who have decided against vaccination. A personal vaccine and 3 to 5 percent of the vaccine Population that has compromised the immune system because of cancer, advanced rheumatoid arthritis, and other causes, said Tooth. You may not be eligible to receive the MMR vaccine, a live vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

"There is an exposure potential in your community, that's the reality we live in," Dr. Tooth. "Air travel is generally one of the cases where this risk gets a bit higher. People should be aware of that.

Most travelers may take steps to protect themselves and their environment:

  • Travelers traveling in the home should pay general C.D.C. Recommendations: Children should receive a first dose of MMR vaccine at the age of 12 to 15 months, a second dose at the age of 4 to 6 years. The Agency also recommends that teenagers and adults who are not pregnant and have no written evidence of MMR vaccine receive two doses at least 28 days apart.

  • For travelers with children traveling on international trips, the CDC recommends an accelerated vaccination schedule that recommends that babies receive a dose of vaccine at the age of 6 months to the age of 11 months, another dose at the age of 12 to 15 months and then a third dose. All vaccinations should be at least 28 days apart.

  • For those who have qualified for a vaccine that is celebrating its first birthday and an international journey, C.D.C. recommends two doses at least 28 days apart.

  • Those who are not allowed to receive MMR vaccine should contact C.D.C. Travel warnings for measles and talk with their healthcare provider about the risks. Exceptions to this include those who have written records of adequate vaccination, had a confirmed case of measles, have demonstrated immunity in the laboratory, and those born before 1957 who were exposed to the disease in their eyes ,

In addition, between 1963 and 1967, an estimated 600,000 to 900,000 people received another type of measles vaccine and did not develop immunity. These individuals should be vaccinated again.


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