Growing Concern in Health Care Workers over Measles Outbreaks

The outbreaks of measles largely in the Northeast and Northwest are a glimpse to a larger problem:  the breakdown in vaccination programs.  Worldwide, there has been a significant increase in caseload of measles.  Countries with the highest rates of measles and the most challenges to vaccination infrastructure include the Philippines, Ukraine, India and the African continent.  Imported measles has fueled outbreaks in pockets of the United States and Europe where vaccination has either been substandard or has been declined.  The outbreaks in New York and Washington were started after unvaccinated travelers to measles-prevalent countries returned home unknowingly with measles.  Their circle of friends and public spheres of contact were also locations where there were unvaccinated children.  Recently, a similar situation occurred in Salem, Oregon, which has just confirmed its second measles case. 

Measles outbreaks has served as a “canary in the coal mine” for vaccination programs.  Should we have reason to be concerned?  The Doctors Company asked me to write a summary of the results of a survey held on their site.  “How concerned are you as a healthcare worker about the recent U.S. measles outbreak?”  A majority of the 9,459 respondents (43%) answered “very concerned” .

Below is the link to the summary on the Doctors Company site:

www.thedoctors.com/articles/concern-about-US-measles-outbreak/

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