Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Measles in Healthcare Settings

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

Yesterday, July 23, 2019, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) posted interim guidance that “should be implemented in the context of a comprehensive infection prevention program to prevent transmission of all infectious agents among patients, HCP, and visitors.”

Healthcare settings refers to “places where healthcare is delivered and includes, but is not limited to, acute care facilities, long-term acute care facilities, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and assisted living facilities, home healthcare, vehicles where healthcare is delivered (e.g., mobile clinics), and outpatient facilities, such as dialysis centers, physician offices, and others.”  That definition covers nearly all PAC entities.

Here’s a look at the Table of Contents for this 12-page interim guidance:

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There’s a lot of great recommendations and indeed guidance on preventing the spread of measles within your facility/community.  There are also numerous hyperlinks to additional information with the guide as well that will be extremely helpful to your Infection Prevention and Control program.

“Measles is most commonly acquired from persons in the household or community, but spread of measles can also occur in healthcare settings. (During 2001-2014, 6% of non-imported measles cases in the United States resulted from transmission in healthcare facilities.)

While the most important measure to prevent measles transmission in all settings is ensuring community immunization, core measles prevention in healthcare settings requires a multi-faceted approach including:

  • Ensuring HCP have presumptive evidence of immunity to measles (see Recommendations section)
  • Rapidly identifying and isolating patients with known or suspected measles
  • Adhering to Standard and Airborne Precautions for patients with known or suspected measles
  • Routinely promoting and facilitating respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette
  • Appropriately managing exposed and ill HCP” (Healthcare Personnel)

I would strongly encourage you to incorporate the CDC interim guidance recommendations into your facility’s Infection Prevention and Control policy/procedures.  I would also encourage you to check out the CDC Infection Control Guideline Library, Training and Education as well as Infection Control Tools to help shore up your Infection Prevention and Control program.

I accessed the CMS QCOR data website as I was writing this blog this morning and F880 is still the #1 deficiency cited across the U.S., coming in as being cited for 26.7% of LTC providers.  That is certainly significant.

Protect everyone that lives, works and visits your community!!