Congenital Measles

Maree Sommerville 1, Annaliese VanDiemen 2

Infection Control Manager, Mercy Hospital For Women, Heidelberg, VIC, Australia

Senior Public Health Officer, Department of Health & Human Services, Melbourne, VIC, Australia


Introduction: Measles in a highly infectious viral illness which causes high rates of disease in non-immune contacts of cases. The sequelae of measles in pregnant women and babies can be significant. The state of Victoria has seen a surge in cases of measles in 2016, with a major outbreak of locally acquired measles originating in the Brunswick area. Health service and Public Health responses to measles are time consuming and costly.

Methods: This presentation will be in case-study format. This presentation will discuss an outbreak of measles with three secondary cases, the management of this particular outbreak from an infection control perspective and the ongoing challenges for infection control practitioners.
Results: In April 2016 a 21 year old woman, who was 32 weeks pregnant, developed measles after prolonged household contact with a case of infectious measles. The patient was hospitalised, and subsequently went into labour and delivered a baby at 33 weeks gestation. The baby was administered normal human immunoglobulin (NHIG) at birth. A PCR swab was taken from the baby at birth and was found to be positive for measles RNA, confirming congenital measles infection. The baby remained remarkably well and had no clinical signs of infection. The baby was nursed in isolation and remained on home isolation post discharge until two negative naso-pharyngeal PCR swabs had been completed.

Conclusion: This complex case required extensive input from Public Health, Infection Control, Neonatology, Obstetric and Infectious Diseases teams. Lessons have been learnt which can be applied to future cases.

About the College

The ACIPC is the peak body for Infection Prevention and Control professionals in the Australasian region. Our stated vision is the prevention and control of infection in our communities. We commenced in January 2012 bringing together the various State and Territory infection control associations formerly in AICA (The Australian Infection Control Association) to support and encourage collaboration across Australasia.

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