Finally in the news this week I take a look at the comeback that many childhood diseases are making right now in the face of decreased vaccine compliance with our children. According to the CDC website there are nearly 200 cases of measles in 15 outbreaks throughout the U.S. this year.
Hundreds of Measles Cases So Far This Year
This is a large number when compared to previous years, already matching last year’s total. The California Department of Public Health reports almost 60 cases so far this year compared to four in the same time frame the year before. The vast majority of cases reported are in individuals who have not been vaccinated for the disease.
The CDC is recommending that healthcare professionals consider measles in all cases where patients present with a fever accompanied by a rash. The challenge in the rash appearance is that measles patients can be contagious up to four days before the rash appears meaning that onset of the rash is a late sign.
Educate Yourself to Recognize the Measles Rash
Take some time to educate yourself about the measles rash and what it looks like. For many of us, we’ve never seen it before, something that was unheard of twenty or thirty years ago. I’ll put the CDC link in the show notes so you can look at their resources for healthcare professionals including pictures and descriptions of the rash.
In the meantime, make sure adults and children, especially younger kids and infants, have received their recommended vaccines. If they aren’t sure, check with a prescriber, either a nurse practitioner or physician about whether they might need a measles booster to protect them and folks around them.
Remember that vaccines don’t just protect the vaccinated but also the community at large. Check out the links and resources I include in the show notes for this episode.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Getting Kids Vaccinated On Time and Nursing Show Episode 295.