Southwest passengers exposed to measles

A Southwest Airlines passenger from North Texas who was infected with measles changed planes at Houston's Hobby Airport last month and may have exposed others to the virus, according to officials at the Houston Health Department.

Officials said the patient was contagious at the time of the flights, on August 21 and 22. They said the passenger never left the airport and remained in waiting areas inside the airport for about an hour each day.

Monica Nicholas, of Dallas, was on the same four flights, and fell ill shortly afterward.

"She began to get spotting on her legs, a kind of a rash," said her husband, Brian Nicholas. "She also was experiencing flu-like symptoms."

Doctors later confirmed that her symptoms were not related to measles.

While the Houston Health Department says the passenger never left the airport and remained in the waiting area, experts say travelers still have to be careful.

"Measles virus is highly contagious," Dr. Melanie Mouzoon, an immunization specialist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, said. "There have been reports of people catching measles from an airport waiting room two hours after the person with measles left."

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