Membership - Physicians/Nurse Practitioners/Physician Assistants

Measles Update

The CDC has issued updated guidelines on preventing the spread of measles in healthcare settings.  We have incorporated these recommendations into our previous document.  Measles is very infectious, and is sprayed into the air when an infected person coughs or talks.  Infectious particles can remain airborne for up to two hours after a contagious person has left the room.  The CDC now recommends that all providers and staff demonstrate presumptive immunity to measles both for their own protection and to minimize their risk of transmission to patients.

Presumptive evidence of immunity to measles for health care personnel include:

  • Documentation of two-dose vaccination, lab evidence of immunity, lab-confirmed disease, or birth before 1957. For personnel born before 1957 who don't have other evidence of immunity, vaccination may still be considered.
  • In an outbreak, all people working in healthcare should be vaccinated, even those born before the 1957 cutoff.
  • Healthcare workers without presumptive evidence of immunity should not enter the room of patients with suspected or known measles if personnel with evidence of immunity are available. If practice staff without presumptive immunity have been exposed and have not received adequate prophylaxis, they should be excluded from work during the period when they may be contagious. 
  • All staff should wear protective respiratory protection when entering the room or caring for patient with known or suspected measles regardless of presumptive immunity.

Remember the basics of infection control.   Promptly isolate suspected or confirmed patients to minimize transmission. Put a mask on the patient, and escort him/her to an exam room. Keep the door closed at all times.  After the patient leaves, use standard cleaning and disinfection procedures and do not use the room for two hours. 


Contact the Patient Safety team with any questions:  Email PPOCPatientSafety-dl@childrens.harvard.edu or call 781-216-2138.