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Confirmed cases of measles in at least 5 U.S. airports this month

MMR vaccine holding in hand with injection syringe at the background. Photo: GettyImages

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Confirmed cases of measles have been linked to travelers passing through at least five U.S. airports this holiday season.

Five airports around the country have had passengers with confirmed cases of measles passing through during December, including Los Angeles and Denver. In one case, ABC News reports a family with three unvaccinated children who’d visited a country with an ongoing measles outbreak tested positive for the disease after they returned.

The Salt Lake City Airport says it has detailed plans in place to deal with passenger who might be carrying measles or another contagious disease. Spokesperson Nancy Volmer says they include telling other passengers who might be affected.

“If there was a passenger who was found to have a communicable disease, the airport would not have filed their passengers,” Volmer said. “They may have been exposed to that individual and [the airport would] ask them to monitor their health.”

Volmer says the airlines and agencies like Customs and TSA work together and practice those plans to make sure they’re ready when an issue comes up.

“We would have somebody escort them to a separate room just to keep them away from other passengers until we determine the next steps to take,” Volmer said.

So far this year, the Centers for Disease Control report there has not been a confirmed case in Utah.