Impact of Rising Incidence of Measles Discussed
Doctors should recognize suspected cases and implement control measures as necessary
THURSDAY, April 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- With the rising incidence of measles, the importance of vaccination should be emphasized and precautions must be exercised in cases of suspected measles, according to a commentary piece published online April 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
Julia Shaklee Sammons, M.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, discusses the rising incidence of measles in the United States.
The author notes that the incidence of measles has been rising steadily following elimination, with an average of 155 cases per year since 2010. Vaccination coverage is needed to prevent the spread of measles after importation, but varies by state, with 15 states having measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine rates below 90 percent. The geographic clustering of unvaccinated children increases the risk of outbreaks after importation. Health care providers should be aware of measles in returned travelers with febrile rash illness, and should be able to recognize its clinical features. Early reporting and rapid control efforts are necessary for suspected cases of measles. Airborne precautions should be implemented immediately if measles is suspected.
"As measles incidence rises, clinicians have a vital role to play. We need to talk to our patients about measles vaccination and remind them what is at stake if imported measles cases continue to land in communities of unvaccinated persons, especially for those who are too young or ineligible to be vaccinated," the author writes.