From the ND Department of Health & Human Services - Health Advisory on Measles

Posted 4 months ago in ND Healthcare


Health Care Providers are Reminded to Think about Measles

Cases of measles have been on the rise in the U.S., with 22 cases reported in Minnesota. Ohio is also experiencing an outbreak, with 46 cases confirmed in Columbus. All of these cases have occurred in unvaccinated children, many who attend childcare and school. Nineteen of these individuals have been

No cases have been identified in North Dakota in 2022. Vaccination rates declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, with only 81.8% of 19-35-month-olds and 92.23% of North Dakota Kindergarteners up-to-date on measles vaccine. Regional rates vary greatly, with some areas more susceptible to outbreaks. Experts believe measles immunization coverage needs to be above 95% to prevent widespread outbreak of disease.

The North Dakota Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) would like North Dakota health care providers to watch their patients for signs and symptoms of measles. These include cough, runny nose, conjunctivitis, fever, malaise, and maculopapular rash. People at increased risk of contracting measles include those who are unvaccinated, immunocompromised, or have recently traveled to areas with measles cases or where measles is endemic.

Suspected cases of measles should immediately be reported to the NDHHS Disease Control by calling 1.800.472.2180 or 701.328.2378. Individuals who are suspected to have measles should immediately be asked to wear an N95 mask, placed in negative pressure room or roomed alone if in a hospital or clinical setting, and should isolate at home while awaiting test results. Providers should order a PCR and IgM tests on patients for whom measles is suspected.

Providers are also reminded to encourage measles vaccination, especially for people planning to travel abroad who have not previously been immunized through a vaccine or prior infection. Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is routinely recommended around a person’s first birthday and when they are four to six years old. Two doses of MMR vaccine are recommended to ensure proper protection against measles. People born before 1957 are presumed to be immune to measles, as these individuals have a high likelihood of having had the disease. Immunization status can be checked using the North Dakota Immunization Information System, NDIIS. Providers are recommended to make extra efforts to vaccinate children who are behind on immunizations, including making vaccinations convenient (evenings, weekends, schools, childcares) and conducting reminder/recall.

Measles is a dangerous illness, which kills about 1 in 500 people who are infected. Hospitalization may be required in about 20-50% of people, and treatment options are limited to supportive care. Because the virus is airborne, people infected with measles are extremely contagious. Those with no immunity who are exposed to measles must quarantine for 21 days after exposure, which includes missing school or work.

For more information, including regional data on vaccination coverage, please visit the North Dakota Immunization Unit website at