From January 1 to February 21, 2019, 159* people from 10 states (CA, CO, CT, GA, IL, KY, NY, OR, TX, and WA) have been reported as having measles. Six outbreaks (defined as 3 or more linked cases) have been reported, in Rockland County, New York; Monroe County, New York; New York City; Washington; Texas; and Illinois. Of these outbreaks, 2 outbreaks are ongoing from 2018.
CDC is asking for your help to ensure that all patients are up to date on MMR vaccine. When it comes to vaccinations, parents trust the expertise of their doctor more than anyone else. Explain to patients that MMR vaccine is the best protection against measles infection.
Here’s what you can do:
1. Send an e-mail blast to your members.
CDC drafted the following message that you can share with healthcare professionals in your network:
From January 1 to February 21, 2019, 159* people from 10 states (CA, CO, CT, GA, IL, NJ, NY, OR, TX, and WA) have been reported as having measles. Five outbreaks (defined as 3 or more linked cases) have been reported, in Rockland County, New York; Monroe County, New York; New York City; Washington; Texas; and Illinois. Of these outbreaks, 2 outbreaks are ongoing from 2018. CDC urges healthcare professionals to ensure that all patients are up to date on MMR vaccine, including before international travel.
What Should Clinicians Do?
- Discuss the importance of MMR vaccine with parents. Listen and respond to parents’ questions. When parents have questions, it does not necessarily mean they won’t accept vaccines. Sometimes, they simply want your answers to their questions.
- Ensure all patients are up to date on measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.
- Children need 2 doses of MMR: one dose at 12-15 months and another dose at 4-6 years.
- Before any international travel, infants 6-11 months need 1 dose of MMR vaccine, children 12 months and older need 2 doses separated by at least 28 days, and teenagers and adults who do not have evidence of immunity against measles need 2 doses separated by at least 28 days.
- 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: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html
2. Post measles buttons, banners, and links to CDC communication resources for healthcare professionals.
You can also post a link to CDC’s Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents, which aim to strengthen communication between healthcare professionals and parents. Specific resources to highlight include:
By posting measles buttons and banners on your website or blog, you will remind clinicians to consider measles diagnoses. They link to CDC’s measles webpage for healthcare professionals. Get these web tools here: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/resources/web-buttons.html
3. Share information about measles with parents and the public in your office.
4. Learn more about measles and encourage your members to do the same.
Below is information about measles that you can promote to other healthcare professionals:
Thank you for your assistance!
*Preliminary data reported to CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.