Watkins, N.M.; Smith, R.P.; St Germain, D.L.; MacKay, D.N.
Department of Pathology, Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH.
Although acquisition of measles infection in medical facilities is well documented, hospital outbreaks have been rare. During a recent community measles epidemic, one patient and four employees of the Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital developed the disease. Two of the employees were born before 1956, the year recommended by the Centers for Disease Control as an appropriate cutoff year for routine measles vaccination. Screening of 456 hospital employees for measles immunity demonstrated a 5% incidence of susceptibility in 135 individuals born between 1950 and 1956. This experience demonstrates the significant potential for the spread of a community measles outbreak into the hospital setting. Because of the high transmissibility of this disease and its potentially serious consequences in hospitalized patients, we suggest that all hospital employees born after 1950 who have significant patient contact should have documented immunity against measles.Watkins, N.M. … [et al.]