DENVER (CBS4) — Three unvaccinated children who flew into Denver International Airport from another state tested positive for measles after traveling to a country with an ongoing measles outbreak, the Tri-County Health Department announced Monday. They are currently hospitalized at Children’s Hospital Colorado.
“Tri-County Health Department is working with local partners to identify people who may have been exposed to measles since the children landed in Colorado,” officials said.
People visiting the following locations on the following dates may have been exposed to measles (times are approximate):
- Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019: Denver International Airport (DEN) – Concourse A, train to baggage claim, west baggage claim, and west level 4 passenger pick up areas. — 1:15 p.m. until 5:45 p.m.
- Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019: Children’s Hospital Colorado – Anschutz Campus Emergency Department at 13123 E 16th Ave, Aurora, CO 80045 — 1 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
“All individuals traveling on the plane with these children or who visited Children’s Colorado during this time frame and are believed to be at risk are being contacted directly by public health,” officials stated. They could not provide information about the specific flight the children were on.
Measles is among the most contagious viruses. About 90% of people who have never been immunized against measles become ill after exposure. The disease can be dangerous for infants who are under one year of age and too young to be vaccinated, people with severely weakened immune systems, and those who have not been immunized. Complications include ear infections, pneumonia, and encephalitis (swelling of the brain). In unvaccinated pregnant women, measles also can cause miscarriage or premature birth.
If a pregnant woman, infant or person with a weakened immune system visited the above locations during those dates and times, they should contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Anyone who visited these locations at these times should monitor themselves and their children for symptoms of measles. Symptoms of measles can begin 7 to 21 days after exposure, and include a fever of 101 degrees or higher, a runny nose, red eyes, and coughing. Two to four days after the first symptoms, a red blotchy rash starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.
An infected person is contagious for four days before the rash appears and for up to four days after the rash appears.
People with measles symptoms should not go to childcare, school, work, or out in public, since they may spread the disease to others. If you or your child has symptoms that could be measles and need to be seen by a doctor, call your doctor’s office first to tell them about your symptoms. The doctor’s office will give you information on how to proceed in order to protect other patients and visitors.
There is little to no risk to other patients or visitors to Children’s Colorado Emergency Department. Public health officials do not consider patients or visitors to other areas of Children’s Colorado to have been exposed to measles. There is no ongoing risk of exposure at Children’s Colorado or at Denver International Airport from this incident.
“I urge everyone to make sure they have gotten their Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR) vaccine,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department. Vaccination is the only way to protect yourself and the ones you love from measles.”
People who have questions about this incident or who need general information about measles can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911 for answers in English and Spanish. For more information about the measles, visit: www.cdc.gov/measles/