NEWS2U Health & Wellness
Living Healthy in an Unhealthy World

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Global Health Update

By Christine Gorman
Time Inc.
Thursday, Apr. 13, 2006

Airline Passengers Exposed to Mumps

Did you travel on the flights listed below? If so, you may have been exposed to mumps, according to this report from the Centers for Disease Control.

Apparently two people who unknowingly carried mumps also did a lot of flying in March and April. Medical staff in Dallas, Texas, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, Michigan should be paying particularly close attention to this list.

Here's the list of flights that the CDC says carried a mumps-infected passenger:

Northwest Airline (NWA) flights:
• March 26 NWA (Mesaba) #3025 from Waterloo, Iowa to Minneapolis, Minnesota
• March 26 NWA #760 from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Detroit, Michigan
• March 27 NWA #0260 from Detroit, Michigan, to Washington, DC--Reagan National
• March 29 NWA #1705 from Washington, DC--Reagan National to Minneapolis, Minnesota • March 29 NWA (Mesaba) #3026 from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Waterloo, Iowa

American Airline (AA) flights:
• April 2 AA #1216 from Tucson, Arizona, to Dallas, Texas (DFW)
• April 2 AA #3617 from DFW to Lafayette, Arkansas (NW Arkansas Regional [XNA])
• April 2 AA #5399 from NAR to St. Louis, Missouri
• April 2 AA #5498 from St. Louis, Missouri, to Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A reader points out that the CDC report is confusing with respect to airport codes. NAR is the international airport code for Nare, Columbia. The correct code for Northwest Arkansas Regional is XNA, located in Bentonville, AR.

Anyone who develops symptoms of mumps—headache, fever, sore throat, swelling salivary glands in the cheeks—within 21 days of the flight should see a doctor for further diagnosis and treatment. People who were vaccinated a while back are not necessarily protected against infection as their immunity may have worn off.

If you actually had mumps as a kid, you're almost certainly in the clear.

Read more about the ongoing outbreak in Iowa and six other states here, here and here. Dallas, Washington, D.C. and Detroit, Michigan haven't reported any cases yet but after looking at this list, doctors and health officials in those cities may want to be on the lookout.