The recent Disneyland-associated measles outbreak captured public attention because vulnerable populations contracted the disease. The relative absence of measles in most areas of the United States for many years has led to an under appreciation of measles-related complications and mortality, and unfounded fears about the association between vaccines and autism have contributed to vaccine hesitancy and the resurgence of measles. Author, Neal Halsey, MD, of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health writes that parents should be able to take all children to Disneyland and all public places without fear of measles exposure. Ramped up efforts must focus on making sure all eligible U.S. children are vaccinated and greater collaboration to increase vaccination internationally should also be pursued.
Following the framework recommended by the Institute of Medicine, constant surveillance and additional studies of vaccine safety to address public concerns should be a priority. Adult primary care clinicians can assist their pediatric colleagues in boosting community protection by routinely reviewing immunization records as they see patients who are transitioning from pediatric care, among other safety measures. Physicians may also need to become familiar with clinical presentation of measles since most practicing clinicians in 2015 will never have seen an actual case.
Source: American College of Physicians