A 2009 hospital-associated measles outbreak in Pennsylvania points to the potential of measles transmission in healthcare settings, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The outbreak started when a child from India with fever and rash went to the ED at an unnamed hospital in Pennsylvania on March 10 and was diagnosed with viral exanthema but not tested for measles. On April 3, after an extensive public health investigation, the child was belatedly diagnosed with measles. Four other patients and one ED physician, who were in the ED on March 10, were diagnosed with measles.
Healthcare providers should be aware of measles symptoms and should be vigilant about suspecting the disease and appropriately isolating patients, especially those with a history of international travel, according to the CDC. Also, healthcare providers and employees should have documentation of measles immunity.
The CDC said all healthcare facilities should follow guidelines from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, which call on facilities to “ensure that their employees are fully vaccinated for measles or have laboratory evidence of immunity,” the authors wrote. “This can minimize the need for emergency testing and furlough of employees exposed to measles and associated outbreaks.”
To read the study in the Jan. 19 edition of the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, visit http://1.usa.gov/y47PHQ.