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HelixTalk Episode #101 - Measles, We Have a Problem
Date posted: September 10, 2019, 6:00 am
In this episode, we will be discussing the recent updates in measles outbreaks, where the vaccination recommendations stand, and other preventative strategies.
- Measles is one of the most contagious pathogens; fortunately, the two-step measles vaccine provides extremely high efficacy (>95%) against infection.
- Measles was declared eliminated in the United States in 2000 but has since seen a resurgence with more than triple the cases by July 2019 compared to the entire year of 2018.
- The hallmark diagnosis of measles is the three C's -- cough, coryza (runny nose/congestion), and conjunctivitis (pink eye). Koplik spots (blue-white plaques in the buccal mucosa) appear several days after symptom onset in about 70% of patients. Rash may also occur 3-5 days after symptom onset.
- There is no treatment for measles aside from supportive care, making prevention via vaccination so important. Complications of measles can include ear infection, diarrhea, hospitalization, pneumonia, encephalitis, miscarriage, and death.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles (Rubeola). https://www.cdc.gov/measles. Updated June 18, 2019.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Measles Outbreak Toolkit for Healthcare Providers. https://www.cdc.gov/measles/toolkit/healthcare-providers.html. Updated May 2, 2019.
- Strebel PM, Orenstein WA. Measles. N Engl J Med. 2019 Jul 25;381(4):349-357.