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airplaneAccording to The Los Angeles Times Health officials said on Monday they have launched a cross-country measles watch for anyone who might have been exposed to a contagious airline passenger who traveled through four major U.S. airports.

The 27-year-old New Mexico woman, who was not immunized against measles, arrived from Europe and was in airports in Virginia, Maryland, Colorado and New Mexico from February 20 to February 22, officials said.

No other suspected cases have emerged but it is still early, given the 10- to 14-day incubation time after exposure to the highly contagious virus, said health officials in all four states.

The airborne virus spreads person-to-person and can linger up to two hours in the air after a cough or sneeze. It resembles a cold initially, but later a rash develops on the face and then the rest of the body.

People with measles are contagious four days before and four days after the tell-tale rash appears.

With assistance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state authorities are contacting passengers who may have been exposed to the measles case to confirm whether they have been immunized, said CDC spokesman Jeff Dimond.

This story brings to light an issue few point to when enticing patients to  leave the country for what appear to be plastic surgery “deals”. Although the woman in this article was traveling through US airports, she was not immunized because she grew up in Europe. In the US we have very strict guidelines so that if in fact there is an outbreak ,it can be traced rather easily. Other countries, especially less industrialized countries, do not have a method as sophisticated . While many are familiar with the risk associated with leaving the US for a plastic surgery procedure, most look only at the inconsistency of the plastic surgeons credentials and the facility. The risk of contracting diseases that are virtually eradicated in the US must also be considered. Dr. O’Toole explains to patients who are comparing their plastic surgery options for popular procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction, and abdominoplasty that if leaving the US for surgery environmental factors must also be considered.


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