4.26.19 – Measles in Maryland and Heightened Vigilance

April 26, 2019

The Maryland Department of Health (MDH) has identified measles cases in Maryland.  Due to these cases and the growing number of measles cases nationwide, consider heightened vigilance for measles and take prompt action to prevent additional cases.  It is also important that you and your healthcare workers are immunized against measles.

Know your measles signs and symptoms:

  • Fever >100.4 AND
  • Three “C”s – cough, coryza and/or conjunctivitis AND
  • Rash 
  • Maculopapular 
  • Rash follows 2-4 days after symptoms begin (average 14 days after initial exposure)
  • Starts at hairline, progresses down the face and to the rest of the body

Key information to collect:

  • Vaccination status
  • Travel and exposure history (travel internationally/to areas experiencing outbreaks or a known exposure)

The MDH laboratory will perform serologic and PCR testing for suspect cases, but testing MUST BE APPROVED first. Approval is based on signs/symptoms, timeline of the illness, characteristics of the rash, vaccination status AND history of travel/exposure during the estimated incubation period.  The Anne Arundel County Department of Health does notrecommend serologic testing through a commercial laboratory before reporting the case to the County Department of Health (DOH).

DOH recommends using the Measles Assessment Tool when considering a measles suspect. Also, read the MDH Frequently Asked Questions.

If you have questions, or suspect that a patient has measles, call the Department of Health Epidemiology Program at 410-222-7256 (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday) or after-hours at 443-481-3140.