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

Virtual school is another setback for struggling retail industry

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A virtual school year will likely push retailers even closer to the brink.

Why it matters: Back-to-school season is the second-biggest revenue generating period for the retail sector, after the holidays. But retailers say typical shopping sprees will be smaller with students learning at home — another setback for their industry, which has seen a slew of store closures and bankruptcy filings since the pandemic hit.

42 mins ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.

Column / Harder Line

How climate and business woes are sinking a natural-gas project

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Trump administration recently touted its approval of America’s first terminal on the West Coast to export liquefied natural gas. There’s just one problem: it probably won’t be built.

Why it matters: The project in southern Oregon faces political and business hurdles serious enough that those who are following it say it will be shelved. Its problems embody the struggles facing a once-promising sector that's now struggling under the weight of the pandemic and more.