March 15 (UPI) -- Health officials have issued public health alerts based on two confirmed cases of measles at airports in Newark, Memphis and Michigan.
A measles case was confirmed in a young child traveling from Brussels, who arrived at an airport in Newark and then in Memphis on Monday, a New Jersey Department of Health release stated. The child was "infectious on that day and may have traveled to other areas of the airport."
The New Jersey DOH issued a health alert that anyone in the airport between 12:45 p.m. and 9 p.m. could have been exposed to measles, and said that symptoms could develop as late as April 2.
The Michigan Department of Health also confirmed a case of measles, the first case statewide this year, in an individual who returned from traveling abroad at Detroit Metropolitan Airport on March 6. The Department recommended anyone working in customs or baggage claim between 2 p.m and 5 p.m. that day seek medical attention if they develop symptoms.
Measles is highly contagious because it's spread through mucus or saliva in the air when the infected person coughs and sneezes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms could include high fever, cough, red eyes, runny nose and rash, health department releases stated.
Both state health departments recommended those who develop symptoms call their health providers.
Measles can cause serious complications "such as pneumonia and encephalitis (swelling of the brain)," the NJ DOH release stated. In pregnant woman, measles can lead to miscarriage or premature birth.
"Two doses of measles vaccine are about 97 percent effective in preventing measles," NJ State Epidemiologist Dr. Christina Tan said. "We urge everyone to check to make sure they and their family members are up-to-date on measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and all other age-appropriate immunizations."