Update on the Outbreak of Measles

The current outbreak of measles in the United States has been highly covered in the media. To date, there have been no reported cases of measles in Virginia. In 2014 there were two cases and none were reported in 2012 or 2013. Despite these facts, school staff may still have concerns about their students and themselves. The information that follows is intended to provide staff with information to make informed decisions regarding their personal status with regard to measles immunity.

There has been no change in the vaccination recommendations for adults regarding the measles vaccines. You would be presumed immune against measles if you meet at least one of the following:

· Written documentation of adequate vaccination:
· One or more doses of a measles containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for preschool-age children and adults not at risk
· Two doses of measles-containing vaccine for school-age children and adults at high risk, including college students, health care personnel, and international travelers
· Laboratory evidence of immunity
· Laboratory confirmation of measles
· Born in the United States before 1957
· Provider diagnosed disease, without laboratory confirmation, is not considered acceptable evidence of measles immunity

If an adult, born after 1957, and not in a high risk group, wishes to receive a second dose of vaccine it would be allowable under the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Inactivated vaccine was given between 1964 and 1967. If you are not sure which type of vaccine was given, you should consult your health care provider to determine if laboratory testing for immunity or re-vaccination is appropriate.

As always, hand washing remains the best way to avoid becoming ill. If you are sick, you should stay home until fever-free for 24 hours without medications to reduce fever. Cover your cough and wash hands after coughing or sneezing.

Resources
CDC, general information on measles: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/index.html
CDC, measles vaccination information: http://www.cdc.gov/measles/vaccination.html
If staff members are concerned about measles immunity, they should consult their primary health care provider. Questions may be addressed to the school nurse, local health department immunization coordinator, or Tia Campbell, school health specialist at the Virginia Department of Education, Tia.campbell@doe.virginia.gov or 804-786-8671.