HealthDay News — Single measles cases trigger coordinated public health action that is associated with considerable costs, according to research published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Grace E. Marx, MD, from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues identified two unrelated measles cases in the Denver area during July 2016 to January 2017 after patients traveled to countries with endemic measles transmission. Each case resulted in multiple exposures at health care facilities and public venues, activating an immediate and complex local and state public health agency response. The authors examined the economic burden associated with investigating and responding to single measles cases.

The researchers did not identify secondary cases of measles in either investigation. In the first case, post-exposure prophylaxis was administered to 31 contacts, while no contacts were eligible in the second case due to a delay in diagnosis. In the first and second cases, the public health costs of disease investigation were estimated at $49,769 and $18,423, respectively.

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“Single measles cases prompted coordinated public health action and were costly and resource-intensive for local public health agencies,” the authors write.


Marx GE, Chase J, Jasperse J, et al. Public health economic burden associated with two single measles case investigations — Colorado, 2016-2017. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:1272–1275.