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Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Travelers with confirmed cases of measles passed through five U.S. airports this month and exposed an unknown number of passengers to the disease, ABC News reports, citing city health officials.

Why it matters: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says measles, a highly contagious virus that can spread from an infected person through coughing and sneezing, can live for up to two hours in an airspace where the the person coughed or sneezed.

Affected airports and cities

Chicago: An individual with measles traveled through two terminals at O'Hare International Airport over the course of a week. The person passed through O'Hare's Terminal 1 on Dec. 17 and through Terminal 3 on Dec. 12, according to the Chicago Department of Public Health.

Richmond, Virginia: A person with measles visited Richmond International Airport on Dec. 17, according to the Virginia Department of Health.

Austin, Texas: An individual with a diagnosed case of measles visited the United Airlines gate area at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Dec. 17, Austin Public Health reports.

Denver and Los Angeles: Three unvaccinated children traveled to a country with an ongoing measles outbreak in early December and tested positive for measles when they returned.

What they're saying: "A small number of [measles] cases are capable of quickly producing epidemics," Dr. Mark Escott, medical director for Austin Public Health, said in a statement.

The big picture: 2019 has been the worst year for measles cases in more than two decades. The CDC has so far confirmed 1,276 cases in most U.S. states.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden says Russia likely to invade Ukraine

President Biden addressed the brewing conflict between Russia and Ukraine during a press briefing Wednesday, saying of Russian President Vladimir Putin, "my guess is he will move in."

Why it matters: U.S. officials have issued a series of warnings about Russia's threatening military buildup on the border with Ukraine, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken saying in Kyiv earlier Wednesday that Russia could invade "on very short notice."

Biden challenges GOP agenda: "What are Republicans for?"

President Biden pushed back against Republican efforts to obstruct his agenda during a press conference Wednesday, asking "What are Republicans for?"

Why it matters: Biden's speech comes as he approaches one year in office, facing low polling numbers and a stalled agenda.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Biden’s face mask campaign requires more imports from China

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

American mask manufacturers are getting whiplash, having gone from sleepy sector to mission-critical industry overnight — only to see sales collapse before now being suddenly in demand again.

Why it matters: As the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19 rages, health experts now say Americans need legitimate N95 or KN95 masks to best protect themselves — not widely available fakes or less effective cloth masks.