(Please see the important information below from the Georgia Department of Public Health)
On May 1, an unvaccinated 2-year-old who had recently returned from France was diagnosed with measles infection in an Atlanta area hospital. Contacts of the patient were identified and those determined to be non-immune received appropriate prophylaxis. Nevertheless, because of the highly contagious nature of this disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) are reminding healthcare professionals to consider measles in the differential diagnosis of patients with febrile rash illness who have a history of recent travel and/or exposure to a possible measles case. This is the second measles case in Atlanta this year.
Georgia DPH requests that healthcare professionals consider the following recommendations:
- Measles should be considered in persons with febrile rash illness and clinically compatible symptoms (cough, coryza, and/or conjunctivitis) and a history of recent international travel, exposure to international travelers, or exposure to a possible measles case.
- Suspect measles patients should be isolated promptly (negative pressure room, if available) and Public Health notified immediately at1-866-PUB-HLTH (24 hours/7 days a week). Case-patients should be managed in a manner that prevents disease spread in the healthcare setting, i.e., using general and aerosol precautions http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6007a1.htm
- Laboratory testing should be performed for all suspect case-patients. This should include serum for measles IgM and IgG antibodies and urine and throat specimens for viral isolation and PCR. https://dph.georgia.gov/sites/dph.georgia.gov/files/ADES_Measles_Specimen_Collection_Guidelines.pdf Testing is available at the Georgia Public Health Laboratory. Contact District Public Health or the Department of Public Health at 1-866-PUB-HLTH (24 hours/7 days a week) to coordinate testing.
Measles is easily prevented through vaccination. Keeping measles immunization levels high is critical to preventing measles outbreaks and sustained measles transmission. The Georgia DPH would like to remind health care providers of the current CDC measles prevention guidelines:
- Ensure all patients are up to date on MMR vaccine and other vaccines. See more information at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html
- For persons planning to travel abroad, all U.S. residents older than 6 months should be protected from measles and receive MMR vaccine prior to departure if needed.
- Infants 6 to 11 months old should receive 1 dose of MMR vaccine before departure
- Children 12 months of age or older should have documentation of two doses of MMR vaccine (separated by at least 28 days).
- Teenagers and adults without evidence of immunity should have documentation of 2 appropriately spaced doses of MMR vaccine.
- Health care personnel should have documented evidence of measles immunity on file at their worksite; the ACIP and AAP recommend two doses of measles-containing vaccine or documented history of disease. See more information at http://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html
- Please call your local health department or 1-866-PUB-HLTH (782-4584) (24 hours/7 days a week) IMMEDIATELY to report a suspect measles case. For measles-related questions, please call 404-657-2588 and ask for Ebony Thomas or Jessica Tuttle.