Measles Patient Ended Up on Multiple U.S., UK Flights

Travel News, Travel Safety — By John Curran on March 10, 2011 at 9:52 am

It’s not enough to worry about making your connecting flight or dealing with unruly passengers. Reports show that a passenger on a number of recent flights in the United States and the United Kingdom came down with measles.

The New Mexico woman, who was not identified, traveled from London to Dulles Airport in Washington, DC on February 20. She then took subsequent flights from BWI (Baltimore) to Denver, and then a commuter flight from Denver International to Albuquerque, New Mexico, as charted by the Daily Mail.

It’s not a problem for most Americans who have measles immunizations, as there have been less than 200 cases in the last 15 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control. As both U.S. and UK authorities admit, however, the immunization rate in other countries is much less stringent. Take, for example, the French consulate employee in Boston who came down with the disease.

In fact, Reuters notes that measles cases are on the rise in the Massachusetts city, and now put the number at five. Although that’s not a large number considering other diseases, the fact that most Americans are inoculated makes it a concern.

For travelers, the lesson is a simple one: get your shots up to date. Diseases with little frequency in the U.S. are much more endemic to foreign countries, and this recent case is just one example.

Image: Public Domain

Tags: airline disease risks, boston, inoculations, London, measles outbreaks

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