It is expensive to respond to and control measles outbreaks in the United States. Primary outbreak prevention should focus on vaccination of travelers and encouragement of routine vaccine acceptance by those who currently are hesitant to have their children vaccinated.
There are many emerging infections for which the emergency physician must remain clinically vigilant. Although many infections may not represent true emergencies, it is important for ED providers to understand the epidemiology, presentation, and treatment of some of today’s common and life-threatening infections.
Even workers with a history of measles vaccination or immunity should wear an N95 or equivalent respiratory protection when examining or caring for patients with suspected or confirmed measles, says Shruti K. Gohil, MD, lead author of a recent study on the issue and associate medical director of Epidemiology & Infection Prevention at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine.