In response to the recent measles outbreak, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology prepared a measles fact sheet to educate healthcare professionals and consumers.
According to the APIC fact sheet, measles is a serious respiratory disease that spreads quickly through coughing and sneezing (infectious droplets) and can spread even if the person with measles is no longer in the room. Measles can spread before a rash or any other symptoms appear on the infected individual.
According to the CDC, in 2011, 38% of children younger than 5 years old who had measles in the US had to be treated in the hospital. Although the number of cases in the US is low, measles is common in other countries. Severe cases of measles can cause pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and death. One to three children out of 1,000 in the US who get measles will die from the disease.
The fact sheet covers symptoms of measles, including fever (which can be elevated); runny nose; cough; malaise; red, watery eyes (similar to pink eye); rash that runs from the hairline to the face and neck; Kopliks spots (tiny white spots with bluish-white centers found inside the mouth).
The measles vaccine combines the vaccines for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR). Two doses of the MMR vaccine is recommendeded for children, starting between 12 and 15 months. The second dose should be given before the child enters kindergarten (between 4 and 6 years of age). Almost all children (95 out of 100) who get two doses of MMR vaccine will be protected from measles, and. APIC advises healthcare providers to give a copy of the childs vaccine record to parents.
APIC recommends using additional educational resources from the CDC, WHO and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases.
APICs mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. The associations more than 15,000 members direct infection prevention programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy and data standardization.
For more, go to www.apic.org.