Science and Tech


Officials warn of measles exposure at Dulles, Reagan airports

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air from infected people, with symptoms beginning seven to 14 days after exposure.
A dose of the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
Posted at 2:44 PM, Jan 16, 2024

People who traveled through either Dulles or Reagan National airport in Washington, D.C., in early January may have been exposed to measles.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, a person with a confirmed case of measles traveled through Northern Virginia after returning from an overseas trip, potentially exposing others at Dulles Airport's main terminal on Jan. 3 from 4 to 8 p.m. local time and Reagan Airport's Terminal A on Jan. 4 from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. local time.

“Health officials are coordinating an effort to identify people who might have been exposed, including contacting potentially exposed passengers on specific flights,” officials said in a press release.

While the VDH did not specify where the person was traveling from, the BBC reported a rise in measles outbreaks in England, with cases in the West Midlands surging by over 30% in less than a week, marking the most significant increase outside London. 

In total, the European region has reported over 30,000 infections since October, according to the World Health Organization's latest update as of last month.

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air from infected people. 

According to the VDH, symptoms begin seven to 14 days after exposure, with a fever, runny nose, red eyes and cough. The rash starts three to five days later, becoming contagious from four days before to four days after its appearance.