For Public Health Professionals
The highly contagious measles virus is often brought into the United States by travelers or people from other countries. Each imported measles case could start an outbreak, especially if undervaccinated groups are exposed. Surveillance and prompt investigation of cases and contacts help to stop the spread of disease. Listed below are key resources that are especially relevant to public health professionals.
Measles cases are reported by states to CDC through the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS). Both probable and confirmed cases should be reported nationally. Read more about the measles case definition.
Measles cases and outbreaks
Measles is nationally-notifiable and cases should be reported to the appropriate health department. Measles cases are reported by states to CDC through NNDSS. Read more about measles cases and outbreaks.
The Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases provides current guidelines for those directly involved in surveillance of and response to vaccine-preventable diseases, especially personnel at state and local health departments. View the measles chapter.
Responding to measles outbreaks
Prompt recognition, reporting, and investigation of measles is important because the spread of the disease can be limited with early case identification and public health response including vaccination and quarantine of susceptible contacts without presumptive evidence of immunity. Laboratory confirmation is essential for all measles outbreaks.
State and local health departments have the lead in investigating measles cases and outbreaks when they occur
- National Immunization Survey
Information from and about CDC’s large, on-going survey of immunization coverage.
- Documentation and Verification of Measles, Rubella and Congenital Rubella Syndrome Elimination in the Region of the Americas United States National Report, March 28, 2012 [62 pages] (posted Oct 2012)
- Measles Surveillance Worksheet and Instructions
An appendix to the Manual of Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases.
- Measles Fast Stats
Statistics on recent measles case numbers and vaccination coverage.
- WHO Statistics on Measles
The World Health Organization’s measles statistics information
- Interim Infection Control Recommendations
Interim infection prevention and control recommendations for measles in healthcare settings.
- Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps, 2013: Summary Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)