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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 Jan 20;61(2):30-2.

Hospital-associated measles outbreak - Pennsylvania, March-April 2009.


Although endemic measles transmission has been interrupted in the United States, importations of this highly infectious virus continue. On March 28, 2009, a physician notified the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) of a measles case involving an unvaccinated child. Within 5 days, four additional cases were reported to PADOH and the Allegheny County Health Department. All five infected persons had been in the same hospital emergency department (ED) on March 10; one of them was a physician who worked in the ED. To find the source patient, PADOH reviewed electronic records of patients evaluated in the ED on March 10 for fever and rash. This identified a child who arrived recently from India, was treated for viral exanthema, and discharged. On April 3, PADOH obtained serum from this child and confirmed a diagnosis of measles. After an extensive regional search and investigation of the six patients' 4,000 contacts, no additional cases were identified. The hospital reviewed employee health records to identify any exposed personnel who did not have serologic evidence of measles immunity. Among 168 potentially exposed employees, 72 (43%) had no documented measles immunity, thus requiring serologic testing and subsequent vaccination if they lacked serologic evidence of immunity. This outbreak highlights the potential for measles transmission in health-care settings. To decrease transmission, clinicians should know the signs and symptoms of measles, request travel histories of patients suspected of any infectious disease, and isolate potentially infectious patients. Hospital employees should have documented immunity to measles, and employees without evidence of measles immunity should be offered vaccination in accordance with Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) recommendations.

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