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March 6, 2019

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CDC Seeks Help from Clinicians to Spread the Message About Vaccines

When it comes to vaccinations, parents trust the expertise of their doctor more than anyone else. CDC is asking for your help to ensure that all patients are up to date on MMR vaccine.

From Jan. 1 to Feb. 21, 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

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