Measles overview

 

Submitted by Mark J. Ingerman, MD, FACP, Medical Director, Infection Prevention, and Connie Cutler, RN, MS, CIC, FSHEA, Director, Infection Prevention

 

An epidemic of measles has occurred in the U.S. beginning at the end of 2014 and continuing into 2015.  As of this date, 102 cases have been reported in the U.S. in January 2015. It is presumed that the epidemic began in California at Disneyland. Multiple states have been affected by this outbreak. Individuals become infected either because of lack of immunization or waning immunity.

 

This is a highly contagious airborne infectious disease. A link from the CDC describing the signs and symptoms of this infectious disease is provided below. If a case of measles is suspected at either an outpatient clinic or in one of the MLHS Emergency Departments, the patient should be placed in airborne and contact isolation as soon as possible and notify Infectious Diseases and Infection Prevention. Outpatient areas should place a surgical mask on the patient and caregivers should wear N95 respirators, isolation gowns, as well as gloves.

 

The local area status according to the Philadelphia Inquirer as of February 3, 2015 is as follows:

“New Jersey has not had any cases this year, after three last year. The Pennsylvania Department of Health, which also reported three cases in 2014, last week reported its first case of 2015, in Cumberland County. It said there was no link to Disneyland.” Read more at: http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20150203_Vaccine_controversy_takes_unpredictable_turn.html#f5wPQbM0lBglFWlU.99

 

Clinicians should be aware of the CDC’s resource page for information on measles. It contains an update on the latest outbreak, as well as the clinical features, complications, transmission, diagnosis and lab testing, evidence of immunity, vaccination, isolation, etc., at the following link:

http://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html

 

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