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PICNet  >  Guidelines & Toolkits   >  Pathogens  >  Measles

Several Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions have reported active measles cases. For more details please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada’s Measles and Rubella Weekly Monitoring Reports and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention’s report on measles cases and outbreaks.


Based on current measles activity, we are recommending the following:

  • Ensure health-care worker immunizations are up to date.
  • Encourage patients to be up to date with their immunizations. Refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control for information on available vaccines for measles
  • Be vigilant for cases of measles. Refer to the BC Centre for Disease Control for information on case definitions, symptoms, and laboratory testing.
  • Ensure all patients suspected or confirmed to have measles are placed on airborne precautions. 
  • Notify and consult with Public Health as soon as possible to initiate follow-up, appropriate isolation, and testing.
  • Notify and consult with your infection prevention and control (IPC) team (where available).


Infection prevention and control measures:

  • All patients presenting with symptoms of measles should be instructed to wear a medical mask (if tolerated), and clean their hands.
  • Follow routine practices
  • Implement airborne precautions in addition to following routine practices:
    • Health-care workers should wear a fit-tested respirator (e.g., N95 respirator or equivalent) and wear additional personal protective equipment based on point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA).
    • Place an airborne precautions sign at the entrance to the patient room. Refer to the provincial additional precautions signs on the PICNet website.
    • Place patients in an airborne infection isolation room (AIIR) (i.e., negative pressure room).  If an AIIR is unavailable, place patients in a single occupancy room with the door closed and with a dedicated washroom or commode. Measles transmission can occur up to two hours after a patient with measles has left the room. Therefore, allow two hours of air clearance time (where the air changes per hour rate is unknown) or after all air in the room has been replaced, based on known room air change rate, before placing another patient in room. Refer to the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Airborne Containment Removal Table or your organizational guidelines. Consult with IPC and facilities maintenance and operations (where available).

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