Alert for Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

By Ken Buben, President,

Infectious disease experts are now urging doctors to be on alert for vaccine-preventable diseases as these diseases are resurging in the United States according to the American Medical News today.

Doctors have not had to deal with measles, pertussis and mumps for many years now and may not be familiar with all the symptoms of these infectious diseases. They are being encouraged to regularly should check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for information on outbreaks and trends across the country. A study published online April 28 in The Journal of Infectious Diseases found that health professionals’ unfamiliarity with measles led to a delay in diagnosis and contributed to the spread of the disease in Arizona in 2008.

The experts are also encouraging doctors to take steps to prevent the spread of these infectious diseases among their patients and staff. Doctors need to have a separate area for these sick patients and have these sick patients wear a face mask to prevent the spread of the germs.

The measles virus can linger in the air for up to two hours after an infected person coughs or sneezes, the CDC said. This means patients and staff can contract the disease by being in a common area or an exam room formerly occupied by someone with the illness. They can also encourage their staff to get vaccinated as well as their patients.

Measles Virus

Measles Virus

Doctors must keep their offices as sterile as possible to avoid the spread of these diseases – cleaning door knobs, chairs, tabletops, etc. often, washing hands thoroughly and wearing protective medical uniforms.

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