Measles patient connects flight through Houston Hobby

HOUSTON — The measles rears its ugly head in Houston, and the Houston Health Department launches into action!

“The patient traveled through Hobby Airport on August 21st and 22nd, so what we’re doing here at a Houston Health Department perspective is contacting the passengers on those flights to let them know about the risk,” says Scott Packard with the Houston Health Department.

The flights in question were:

Date: Tuesday 21 AUG 18
Flight #5               Dallas (Love Field) to Houston (Hobby)
Flight #9               Houston (Hobby) to Harlingen

Date: Wednesday 22 AUG 18
Flight #665           Harlingen to Houston (Hobby)
Flight #44              Houston (Hobby) to Dallas (Love Field)

In a statement, Southwest Airlines said its entire fleet is subject to "rigorous and regular cleaning programs and every aircraft utilizes hospital-quality HEPA filtration.”

Signs of a measles infection include cough, runny nose and red watery eyes— so basically fall allergies. What’s really going to be the tell-tale sign it’s measles will be a rash and high fever.

“When you add in that rash and you add in that fever, that’s a sign that you probably need to be checked out by your doctor, especially if you were in the proximity of this patient,” Scott Packard.

Measles popping up in town is good for absolutely no one, but things could have been worse.

“Luckily this patient was isolated at the airport didn’t visit any restaurants or venues didn’t leave the airport and was in one area for only about an hour each day. If that wasn’t the case it could be a little more dicey,” Packard explains.

This is why vaccinations are so important folks.

“For people who are not vaccinated against measles it is a highly contagious disease, as many as 90% of people that aren’t vaccinated could get the virus, the good news is here is locally we have a high rate of vaccination against measles in the Houston area, and that means its very unlikely for someone with the vaccinations to get the virus,” Packard explains.