Capping off the worst year in the United States for measles in more than two decades, an unknown number of passengers were exposed to the highly infectious disease this month when passengers at five different American airports had travelers passing through with confirmed cases of the virus, ABC News reported.
"Measles is an acute, highly contagious viral disease," Austin Public Health medical director Dr. Mark Escott said in a statement. "A small number of cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics."
Austin was one of the airports, along with Chicago's O'Hare; Richmond, Virginia; Denver; and Los Angeles.
The best protection against measles is to get the vaccine for it. Those who think they have been exposed should check when they last had their vaccination and consult with their health care provider.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there have been 1,276 cases of the measles in 2019, which is more than the previous four years combined.
The outbreak was particularly bad in the Brooklyn section of New York City and in the state of New York in general, where it lasted nearly a full year. If it had lasted more than 12 months, the outbreak would have put an end to the measles elimination status, which the U.S. has held for nearly 20 years.
Worldwide, the year so far has been even worse, with the number of measles cases that nations reported to the World Health Organization being three times higher than during the same period in 2018.
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