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  • MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella)
  • Disease Issues

What should our clinic do if we suspect a patient has measles?

Measles is highly contagious. A person with measles is infectious up to 4 days before through 4 days after the day of rash onset. Patients with suspected measles should be isolated for 4 days after they develop a rash. Airborne precautions should be followed in healthcare settings by all healthcare personnel. The preferred placement for patients who require airborne precautions is in a single-patient airborne infection isolation room. Providers should immediately isolate and report suspected measles cases to their local health department and obtain specimens for measles testing, including serum sample for measles serologic testing and a throat swab (or nasopharyngeal swab) for viral confirmation.

Measles is a nationally notifiable disease in the U.S.; healthcare providers should report all cases of suspected measles to public health authorities immediately to help reduce the number of secondary cases. Do not wait for the results of laboratory testing to report clinically-suspected measles to the local health department.

More information on measles disease, diagnostic testing, and infection control can be found at

Last reviewed: June 19, 2023

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