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Posted: January 16, 2018

Warning: Travelers through Chicago O’Hare International Airport may have been exposed to measles

FILE PHOTO: O'Hare International Airport
Tim Boyle/Getty Images
FILE PHOTO: O'Hare International Airport

By Natalie Dreier, Cox Media Group National Content Desk


Anyone who traveled through Chicago O’Hare International Airport earlier this month may want to check for signs of measles.

The Illinois Department of Health issued an alert that a passenger on board an international flight that landed on Jan. 10 tested positive for the disease.

The department has not released what flights the person was on, or where they traveled to or from.

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The unnamed passenger arrived at Terminal 5 and left via a domestic flight from Terminal 1, but may have been in other areas of the airport.

The person was infectious that day, according to Health Department officials.

Officials are most concerned about people who were at the airport between 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time on Jan. 10, especially those who have not been vaccinated.

The Department of Health says that those exposed, and who have contracted measles, could see symptoms as late as Jan. 31.

Symptoms include: 

  • Rash
  • High fever
  • Cough
  • Runny nose
  • Red, watery eyes

Health Department officials say if you experience the symptoms, call a doctor before going to an office or emergency room so precautions can be taken to protect other patients from possible exposure since measles is highly contagious and can be spread through the air when someone either coughs or sneezes.

WGN reported that there is no risk for travelers currently using O’Hare. The Health Department told the television station, “If you weren’t at O’Hare on Jan. 10 there’s no concern. Even if you were, the risk was very, very low, and ... if you’ve been vaccinated it’s next to nothing.”

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