Increasing Measles Nationally

On April 30, 2019, NH DHHS issued a health alert regarding measles cases in 2019.

KNH Division of Public Health Services Health Alert Networkey Points and Recommendations:

  1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 704 cases of measles so far in 2019, which is the highest yearly number since measles transmission was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000; infections are primarily in unvaccinated individuals.
  2. New Hampshire has not identified a locally acquired (i.e. NH) case of measles for more than a decade despite the occasional diagnosis of measles in a traveler:
  3. Given national and global outbreaks, all providers should make sure their patients are upto-date with MMR vaccination or have presumptive evidence of immunity (see below).
  4. Measles typically presents with symptoms of high fever, cough, coryza (runny nose), and conjunctivitis followed 3-5 days later by development of a maculopapular rash.
  5. Providers should ask any patient presenting with compatible illness about epidemiologic risk factors for measles exposure, including:
    • Travel to other states or internationally to areas with measles transmission
    • Contact to a person with measles or a person with a febrile rash illness
  6. Providers who identify a patient with a compatible illness and possible exposure should test for measles and send both the following specimens to the NH Public Health Laboratories
    • Oropharyngeal or nasopharyngeal swab for polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing (see section below for more information on specimen collection)
    • Serum for measles virus IgM antibody
  7. Suspect measles cases should be managed under airborne infection isolation and immediately reported to NH DPHS.
    • Reporting during normal business hours: call (603) 271-4496
    • Reporting at night or on the weekend: call (603) 271-5300 and request the Public Health Nurse on-call.

Read the Full DHHS Alert