Prepare for Measles

While Virginia has not reported any cases of measles in 2019, Maryland’s Department of Health confirmed on April 18 that a third resident has now tested positive for measles. The first two cases involve members of the same household who report having traveled to an area outside the state where measles infections are now active.

According to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019 is on track to be the worst year for measles since the disease was declared eradicated in the U.S. in 2000. From January 1 to April 11, the CDC says 555 cases of measles have been confirmed in 20 states (not including this week’s Maryland cases).

Around the globe, preliminary data from the World Health Organization shows “reported cases rose by 300 percent in 2019, compared to the same period in 2018.”
Measles Reminders Thanks to Inova’s Mandatory Immunization Policy for all team members, we are part of the solution to preventing the spread of measles among the population.

Michelle Peninger, Senior Director, Infection Prevention and Control, Inova, encourages all providers to remember the following:

Verify patient travel history, both international and travel to domestic “hot-spots,” for possible exposure. Notify your local Department of Health immediately of suspected or confirmed cases of measles, as required by state law (see Virginia Reportable Disease List).

Additional guidance on measles for health care providers is available at the following:

Virginia Department of Health: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/immunization/2019/04/16/measles-cases-inthe-us/

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/measles/hcp/index.html

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