Measles Outbreak Update with a Link to New Recommendations for Health Care Personnel

Measles Outbreak Update with a Link to New Recommendations for Health Care Personnel



According to the CDC, from January 1 through July 25, 2019, there have been 1164 confirmed cases of measles in 30 states.  This is the largest number of cases tallied in the past 27 years (1992), and that was 8 years BEFORE measles was considered eradicated from the U.S (2002).

More information from the CDC with a map, charts, and specific outbreak info/links can be found at:

There are currently 5 ongoing outbreaks (3 or more cases in a specified area) as follows:
2 outbreaks in New York state:  New York City and Rockland County
1 outbreak in California:  LA County
1 outbreak in Washington state:  King County
1 outbreak in El Paso, Texas

The following states have reported cases to CDC:
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia, & Washington.

Notebold indicates an outbreak(s) state; non-bold represents states with individual cases or previous outbreak(s) that are now controlled.

Although these cases were initially imported to the United States from other countries via our residents traveling abroad and returning infected or non-U.S. residents traveling to the U.S. with the infection and spreading it among those who are not vaccinated at all or not adequately vaccinated.  Now, however, there is also ongoing measles transmission in areas of the U.S. where there are pockets of people that are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated.  It must be noted that there is a difference between those that are not medically eligible for vaccination (too young or otherwise not able to be vaccinated, due to allergy or some type of immunocompromise) and those that have philosophical reasons not to vaccinate. Some states, counties or outbreak areas have prevented all but validated medical exemptions from being honored, although approaches have differed in their application.

For more information on Measles from the CDC including communicability, signs & symptoms, incubation & period of infectiousness, complications, sequela to the disease, and prevention, see the CDC site:

See the articles posted on this page under the category of Outbreaks/Emerging Diseases and named Measles (Rubeola) February 20, 2019 & Measles (Rubeola) in Multiple States in the U.S., May 31, 2019 for more specifics on the disease and its implications.

Note:  there have been previous posts on Measles to this Health Intelligence Page.  Please see those articles for background, as well as more detailed information on each disease.  You can find these articles by clicking on the button marked ‘View all Posts & Resources, found at the bottom of the In the News category, and then looking for the specific disease that matches the dates listed at the end of each of the diseases covered in this update

The CDC published in late July, 2019, a new set of recommendations specifically for Healthcare Personnel (HCP) regarding measles.  It is called Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Measles in Healthcare Settings

It contains a lot of information and many links to supportive documentation.  It also specifically names EMS as part of the HCP group and does make reference to EMS a couple of times.  Unfortunately, it leaves EMS to try and apply the recommendations by weeding out those that are applicable to EMS (and other First Responders), rather than have a specific document that acknowledges the issues particular to EMS/First Responders. So, we’ve produced a document that will be posted in an attempt to give the CDC Recommendations a EMS/First Responder spin.  I still highly recommend reading the CDC Document since there are pieces, specific to hospitals or other settings, that I didn’t include in the EMS Interpretation, but still provide valuable insight that someone in EMS may find helpful.

The EMS-friendly version of the document will be found on this same Health Intelligence Page (HIP) under the category of Keeping Your Employees Safe and will be called EMS/First Responder Application of the CDC Measles Recommendations.    It will supply specific recommendations for First Responders, particularly those providing EMS care and includes links found within the newly published CDC Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations Guidance for Measles in Healthcare Settings (7/19) found here:


Download the pdf to this update

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