New generation of doctors being trained to spot rising measles cases in Wales

New generation of doctors being trained to spot rising measles cases in Wales

Recent measles outbreaks in the U.S. have sparked a need for emergency room doctors to brush up on their skills in detecting and diagnosing the disease. Between December 2023 and January 2024, 23 confirmed cases were reported in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Washington, D.C., prompting concern among health officials.

Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but recent lagging vaccination rates have led to outbreaks in unvaccinated communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two vaccine doses, with one dose being 93% effective and two doses being 97% effective. However, many doctors, including emergency room physicians, have never encountered measles in their careers and may struggle to recognize the symptoms of the disease.

As a result, hospitals are now developing response plans to ensure that medical staff are prepared in the event of encountering a measles patient. Health care workers are being reminded to consider measles as a possible diagnosis if a child arrives with a fever and rash, as early symptoms include fever, cough, conjunctivitis, and a rash that starts at the hairline and spreads downwards.

The resurgence of measles is being attributed to declining immunization rates globally and increased international travel. Measles can cause serious health complications, particularly in children under 5 years old, including ear infections, pneumonia, and encephalitis. It is essential for doctors to be vigilant and proactive in diagnosing and treating measles cases to prevent further outbreaks and protect public health.

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About the Author: Forrest Morton

Organizer. Zombie aficionado. Wannabe reader. Passionate writer. Twitter lover. Music scholar. Web expert.

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