SEATTLE -- Public health officials have learned that a traveler diagnosed with the measles had made a stop at Sea-Tack airport on January 18, possibly exposing the public to the virus.

Measles is a highly contagious and potentially severe disease that is mainly spread through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Officials say the contagious traveler flew from Amsterdam to Portland, Oregon, through a connecting flight in Seattle on January 18. Persons who were in one of the follow areas at Sea-Tac Airport between 11:30am and 6:30pm on that day were possibly exposed to measles:

S Gate
South Train
Main Terminal South Station
Train between South and North Station
Main Terminal North Station
North Train
N Gate

After arriving in Oregon, the traveler was diagnosed and treated on January 23 and was determined to be infectious starting January 18. Health officials in Oregon, Washington and the federal centers of the CDC were notified, along with travelers on the same flight as the traveler.

Because most people in the area are immune to measles through vaccination, the risk to the general public is low, said officials. But people who were traveling through the airport around the same time as the traveler should check their measles immunity status, and should call a doctor immediately if they fall ill or develop an unexplained rash before February 9.

People at highest risk from exposure to measles include those who are not vaccinated, pregnant women, infants under six months of age and those with weakened immune systems.

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