This is National Infant Immunization Week. Just in time because there have been a rise in the number of cases of measles. From January 1 to April 25, 2014, there have been 154 cases of reported Measles and 14 outbreaks in a handful of states including Connecticut, according to the CDC
The Phillipines is currently experiencing a large, ongoing measles outbreak (20,000 cases). Outbreks in countries to which Americans often travel can directly contribute to an increase in measles cases in the US. The majority of the people who got Measles are unvaccinated.
Measles is highly contagious. Please protect patients, visitors and staff. Keep an eye out for measles symptoms:
Suspect measles in:
- patients with fever and rash
- History of international travel in the past three weeks or contact with international visitors
Prodrome: Mild to moderate fever
- Fever spikes, often as high as 104° to 105°
- Red, maculopapular rash that may become confluent — typically starts at hairline, then face, and spreads rapidly down body
- Koplik’s spots (tiny blue/white spots on the bright red background of the buccal mucosa) may be present
Act immediately if you suspect measles:
- Implement airborne infection control precautions immediately, mask and isolate patient–negative pressure room, if available.
- Permit only staff immune to measles to be near the patient.
- Notify state and local health departments immediately
- Expedite measles serologic testing at a public health lab if possible; use of commercial labs may delay diagnosis
- Safeguard other facilities: assure airborne infection control precautions before referring patients
- Do not use any regular exam room for at least two hours after a suspected measles patient has left the room.
More detailed information on Measles is available on the CDC website here.
Note that a history of two doses of MMR vacine does not exclude a measles diagnosis.