Background: Measles is a highly contagious virus that reemerged in 2019 with the highest number of reported cases in the United States since 1992. Beginning in March 2019, The Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) responded to an influx of patients with concern for measles as a result of outbreaks in Maryland and the surrounding states. We report the JHH Department of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology (HEIC) response to this measles outbreak using a multidisciplinary measles incident command system (ICS). Methods: The JHH HEIC and the Johns Hopkins Office of Emergency Management established the HEIC Clinical Incident Command Center and coordinated a multipronged response to the measles outbreak with partners from occupational health services, microbiology, the adult and pediatric emergency departments, marketing and communication and local and state public health departments. The multidisciplinary structure rapidly developed, approved, and disseminated tools to improve the ability of frontline providers to quickly identify, isolate, and determine testing needs for patients suspected to have measles infection and reduce the risk of secondary transmission. The tools included a triage algorithm, visitor signage, staff and patient vaccination guidance and clinics, and standard operating procedures for measles evaluation and testing. The triage algorithms were developed for phone or in-person and assessed measles exposure history, immune status, and symptoms, and provided guidance regarding isolation and the need for testing. The algorithms were distributed to frontline providers in clinics and emergency rooms across the Johns Hopkins Health System. The incident command team also distributed resources to community providers to reduce patient influx to JHH and staged an outdoor measles evaluation and testing site in the event of a case influx that would exceed emergency department resources. Results: From March 2019 through June 2019, 37 patients presented with symptoms or concern for measles. Using the ICS tools and algorithms, JHH rapidly identified, isolated, and tested 11 patients with high suspicion for measles, 4 of whom were confirmed positive. Of the other 26 patients not tested, none developed measles infection. Exposures were minimized, and there were no secondary measles transmissions among patients. Conclusions: Using the ICS and development of tools and resources to prevent measles transmission, including a patient triage algorithm, the JHH team successfully identified, isolated, and evaluated patients with high suspicion for measles while minimizing exposures and secondary transmission. These strategies may be useful to other institutions and locales in the event of an emerging or reemerging infectious disease outbreak.
Disclosures: Aaron Milstone reports consulting for Becton Dickinson.