UAE: Passenger tests positive for measles on Abu Dhabi-Dublin flight; alert issued

Etihad Airways says it’s coordinating with the Irish officials for all close-contact tracing


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Wed 13 Mar 2024, 12:21 PM

Last updated: Thu 14 Mar 2024, 9:19 AM

A passenger travelling from Abu Dhabi to Dublin on an Etihad Airways flight has tested positive for measles. The Abu Dhabi-based carrier said that it has been informed by the Irish authorities about the incident and is coordinating with officials for all close-contact tracing.

An alert has been issued in Ireland with authorities asking passengers who travelled on the flight to contact the Health Service Executive (HSE) office. They have asked passengers to stay at home in a separate room and seek medical help if they display symptoms, which include – a running nose, red sore eyes, rashes around the neck and a high fever.

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According to the World Health Organisation, measles – which is most common in children – is a highly contagious and serious airborne disease caused by a virus that can lead to severe complications. It spreads easily when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. Measles vaccination averted 56 million deaths between 2000 and 2021.

A spokesperson of Etihad Airways confirmed that a passenger travelling on Saturday in flight EY045 from Abu Dhabi to the Irish capital Dublin tested positive for measles.

“Etihad Airways has been informed by health authorities in Ireland that a passenger has tested positive for measles after the arrival of flight EY045 from Abu Dhabi to Dublin on March 9, 2024. Etihad Airways is following procedures and guidelines specified by the relevant health authorities and as per government guidelines, all close contact tracing will be carried out by the respective authority,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Wednesday.

This was the third case reported in Ireland this year so far.

Etihad Airways spokesperson said the safety and wellbeing of its passengers and crew is the airline's number one priority.

Signs and symptoms of measles

  • Symptoms usually begin 10-14 days after exposure to the virus
  • A prominent rash is the most common visible symptom
  • Rash begins about 7-18 days after exposure
  • Rash usually begins on the face, upper neck
  • Early symptoms usually last 4-7 days
  • Running nose
  • Cough
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Small white spots inside the cheeks
  • Complications
  • Blindness
  • Severe diarrhoea
  • Ear infection
  • Breathing problems including pneumonia

(Source: WHO)


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