Measles Outbreak

So far in 2019 there have been over 600 reported cases of measles in 22 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000, second only to the 667 cases reported during all of 2014. In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels.

States that have reported cases to CDC are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas, Tennessee, and Washington

For an update on the number of reported measles cases in 2019 please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Measles Cases and Outbreaks web page.

ACOG encourages providers to use the following resources in assessing, identifying, and managing patients with possible measles exposure:

University of Washington Consensus Statement: Measles and the MMR Vaccine: Recommendations Around Pregnancy Including the Periconception and Postpartum Period

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Measles: For Healthcare Providers

Green Journal Article: What Obstetric Health Care Providers Need to Know About Measles and Pregnancy Rasmussen, Sonja MD, MS; Jamieson, Denise MD, MPH 

Measles Prevention

Measles can be prevented with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. One dose of MMR vaccine is about 93% effective at preventing measles if exposed to the virus, and two doses are about 97% effective. In the United States, widespread use of measles vaccine has led to a greater than 99% reduction in measles compared to the pre-vaccine era. However, measles still appears in the U.S., and people who decide not to vaccinate their children because of religious or personal beliefs put their children and others at risk for contracting this serious disease.

Vaccine safety experts, including those from CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), have concluded there is no link between autism and the MMR vaccine. The MMR vaccine is very safe, and CDC is committed to ensuring vaccines provided to the public are safe and effective.

What Should Clinicians Do?

  • Ensure all patients are up to date on measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
  • Consider measles in patients presenting with febrile rash illness and clinically compatible measles symptoms (cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis), and ask patients about recent travel internationally or to domestic venues frequented by international travelers, as well as a history of measles exposures in their communities.
  • Promptly isolate patients with suspected measles to avoid disease transmission and immediately report the suspect measles case to the health department.
  • Obtain specimens for testing from patients with suspected measles, including viral specimens for genotyping, which can help determine the source of the virus. Contact the local health department with questions about submitting specimens for testing.

For more information, including guidelines for patient evaluation, diagnosis and management, visit:

  • Visit CDC’s updated Measles webpage
  • For parents and child care providers: An infographic showing that measles can be a serious disease
  • For Travelers: CDC guidance on measles for international travelers, Consult your healthcare provider about your vaccine status before departing the country.

Think Measles. Do you know CDC's Guidelines for Patient evaluation, Diagnosis and Management? Www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/

This website is supported by an independent educational grant from Merck and an educational grant from Sanofi Pasteur U.S. 
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