Our nation's measles epidemic is complicated and concerning. Thousands of lives are lost needlessly due to lack of vaccination and exposure to measles.
Public misinformation originated with falsified research claims by a British physician claiming a connection between MMR and autism. All allegations and claims were refuted and withdrawn and the British doctor lost his license.
Proponents and antagonists of vaccination need to begin a respectful dialog to understand reasons for resistance. Rebuttals to address their concerns have been discussed. Those who are proponents of vaccination have heavy scientific evidence to back up the recommendations; however, those who are resistant are often fueled by emotion and personal values. Arguing with them is not effective, but sharing scientific evidence may make available the protection they can offer their own children and society as a whole.
Correct education of parents is needed to help them understand the much greater advantages of protecting children with vaccines. Legislation is needed to secure adequate funding of vaccines. States, through laws can mandate vaccines in order for children to enter public school. Schools, public health districts and public officials must work together to convey the message of vaccination against measles.
Understanding the CDC recommendation and vaccine schedule is important to full immunity. Following CDC guidelines for contraindications and the treatment of measles is established. Healthcare professionals do not have to wonder about how to treat or prevent measles—science has provided established guidelines to follow.
Proposed strategies to fight the measles epidemic are at various stages of implementation and it will take time. The cost to implement programs, educate stakeholders, and evaluate any negative consequences to appropriate treatment plans requires patience. In the meantime, small efforts can save lives. Your efforts to learn more about the measles epidemic and your role within it are essential!
CDC Measles (Rubeola)
Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Measles
Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA)
Measles and Rubella Initiative
Travelers’ Health: Infectious Diseases Related to Travel
Measles Resources and Reports
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention