Prevention of Measles Transmission in Healthcare Settings: Indiana Issues Measles Infection Control Recommendations

June 15, 2011

Measles virus. Photo credit: CDC

The Indiana State Department of Health has issued infection control recommendations for suspect measles patients to minimize the risk of transmission in healthcare settings.

Although the recommendations are applicable to Indiana healthcare settings, the guidance provides important advice for healthcare settings and facilities of all states.

These particular Indiana recommendations were adapted with permission from the California Department of Public Health.

Indiana Healthcare Facility Infection Control Recommendations for Suspect Measles Patients

The following provides a summary of the Indiana measles recommendations:

Measles Should Be Suspected If A Patient Has Traveled Internationally and Has A Febrile Rash

If a patient calls to schedule an appointment and he or she has a febrile rash, ask about whether the patient has traveled internationally, has had contact with foreign visitors, traveled through an international airport, or had possible measles exposure within 3 weeks prior to the symptoms’ onset. Any patients with such a history should be suspected of having measles.

The Indiana State Department of Health Should be Notified of Suspect Measles Cases

Providers should notify the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) immediately if any patients are suspected to have measles. Testing for measles at the ISDH public health laboratory should be arranged.

Isolation Precautions

  • Patients suspected of having measles should be masked immediately. If a surgical mask cannot be worn, other methods of source containment should be used (e.g., entering through back or side door and immediately placed in examination room).
  • Suspect measles patients should be scheduled for appointments at the end of the day.
  • Suspect measles patients should not be allowed to wait in the common waiting area or other common areas. They should be isolated immediately in an airborne infection isolation room if one is available. If not available, the patient should be placed in a private room and the door should be closed.
  • Susceptible visitors should not be allowed in the patient room.
  • The only healthcare personnel that should be allowed in the patient exam room are those with documentation of 2 doses of live measles vaccine or laboratory evidence of immunity (measles IgG positive).

Further Precautions For Preventing The Transmission of Measles to Healthcare Workers, Patients, or Other Individuals

  • Do not use the examination room for at least two hours after the patient has left the room.
  • Staff and other patients who were in the area during the time of a suspect measles patient visit (and for 2 hours afterwards) should be documented. If measles is confirmed in the suspect case, the exposed individuals will need to be assessed for measles immunity.
  • If the patient is referred for additional clinical evaluation or laboratory testing regarding the suspected measles status, the referred facility or laboratory should be notified.
  • Instruct the suspected measles patient or other exposed persons to inform all healthcare providers of the possibility of measles infection prior to visiting that facility. Proper infection control precautions will need to be implemented.
  • Referrals should not be made to outside facilities or laboratories unless appropriate infection control measures can be implemented at those locations.

Additional Information

For further information about Measles Specimen Collection and Transport, click here.

For more information about isolation precautions, view the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare.

To learn more about Measles, visit the CDC’s webpage Overview of Measles Disease.


Indiana State Department of Health. Healthcare Facility Infection Control Recommendations for Suspect Measles Patients. May 2011.



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