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What are the recommendations to prevent the spread of Measles?

Measles is an acute viral respiratory illness. It is characterized by a prodrome of fever (as high as 105°F) and malaise, cough, coryza, and conjunctivitis -the three “C”s -, a pathognomonic enanthema (Koplik spots) followed by a maculopapular rash. The rash usually appears about 14 days after a person is exposed; however, the incubation period ranges from 7 to 21 days. The rash spreads from the head to the trunk to the lower extremities. Patients are considered to be contagious from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears. Of note, sometimes immunocompromised patients do not develop the rash.

Measles is one of the most contagious of all infectious diseases; approximately 9 out of 10 susceptible persons with close contact to a measles patient will develop measles. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with infectious droplets or by airborne spread when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. Measles virus can remain infectious on surfaces and in the air for up to two hours after an infected person leaves an area.

Infection Prevention Guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Medical Equipment: All medical equipment should be disinfected using an EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectant according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Hand Hygiene in healthcare settings can be performed by washing with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs. If hands are visibly soiled, use soap and water, not alcohol-based hand rubs.
  • Specific claims for Measles virus are currently not available for hand hygiene products and there are very few environmental disinfection products with specific claims.  
  • The following PDI products can be used in accordance with the CDC guidance: 
  • PDI Sani-Cloth® products are EPA-registered, hospital-grade disinfectants:

Source: Measles for Healthcare Professionals, Electronically Accessed from, January 27, 2015, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.