Message from NJAFP President Sally Mravcak, MD – Measles & Mumps

Hello All,

I was invited to attend a zoom meeting with New Jersey’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Kaitlan Baston, and the New Jersey Surveillance Coordinator, Elizabeth Zaremski MPH, for an update on measles and mumps. According to the CDC, as of 2/29/24, a total of 41 measles cases have been reported in 16 states, with one confirmed case in NJ. There has also been a single-family cluster of suspected mumps in Hunterdon County, NJ. The NJDOH 3/4/24 presentation can be viewed here.

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  • Measles and Mumps are reportable infectious diseases, so if you have a suspect case, please contact your local health department (link below to identify your LHD).
  • For laboratory diagnosis of measles, use a commercial synthetic (non-cotton) nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab to collect a sample for a PCR test. This is the same swab that you would use for an influenza PCR. The swab should be placed in a viral transport media tube and stored at 2-8 degrees Celsius. The specimen should be sent to the Public Health & Environmental Lab (PHEL) at the Department of Health and requires public health approval. For complete specimen collection information, use this reference:
  • Serology for measles (IgG/IgM) should be done, but can be difficult to interpret in vaccinated people and may be initially negative.
  • For laboratory diagnosis of mumps, collect a PCR from the buccal surface. This test is commercially available.
  • Mumps serology can be difficult to interpret in vaccinated people.
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Here are some important resources for you and your practice that were shared during the meeting. I found the Measles Clinical Quick Guide to be extremely helpful and will be saving it to my desktop and distributing it to my practice partners.

Diagnosis Fact Sheets for Measles and Mumps



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I hope this information will be helpful for you, your practice, and your families.