Measles 2001

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Cases = 4

Four cases of measles were reported as confirmed in Indiana during 2001, all of which were a result of travel to foreign countries.  Three of the cases were in females; two were in infants under age 1 and two were in adults.  Three of the cases occurred among the white race and one was of Asian descent.  All four cases resulted from the adoption of foreign children.

In one situation, two prospective mothers traveled to China to adopt babies.  In the first case, the mother, age 44, returned to Indiana from the orphanage and developed a measles rash that was serologically confirmed.  Based on expected incubation periods, the mother’s infection occurred in China.  In another case involving the same orphanage, the mother returned to Indiana and her baby, age 10 months, developed a rash illness, which was serologically confirmed as measles.  Again, the baby was infected at the orphanage, which was experiencing a measles outbreak at the time.

The other two cases resulted from infection at an orphanage in Russia.  In this instance, the mother, age 38, and one of the babies, age 8 months, she had adopted developed rash illness after they returned to Indiana.  Both cases were serologically confirmed as measles.  

These four cases reinforce the need for international travelers to be immune to measles prior to leaving the United States.  In recent years, almost all cases of measles reported in the U.S. can be traced directly or indirectly to foreign travel or contact with foreign visitors.  Only six cases of measles were reported in Indiana from 1994-2000 (See Figure Meas1 for Measles Incidence 1994-2001).  All six cases were directly linked to exposure in foreign countries.