In March 2011, a 26 year old man, undergoing treatment for a non life threatening tumour contracted measles and died. While in hospital, he infected at least one further patient as well as several unvaccinated medical staff, including doctors. Dr. Martin Terhardt of the Professional Association of Pediatricians (Berufsverband der Kinder- und Jugendärzte (BVKJ)) states the obvious:
"It is unacceptable that unvaccinated personnel exists in hospitals. When unvaccinated doctors or nurses have access to intensive care, it becomes very dangerous, both for the personnel themselves and for the patients. Patients who are being treated in intensive care are often immuno-compromised - an additional infection therefore has to be avoided at all cost. Doctors and other medical care personnel must have adequate protection through immunization. The fact that a patient with measles could cause an outbreak amongst medical personnel is absurd."
Measles transmissions in a medical care setting seem to have become the norm rather than the exception (see California and Arizona 2008). In the light of the current strong measles activity in Europe (with world wide exports), everyone, especially care professionals, should check their immunization status and get boosters if necessary to avoid transmission (especially to vulnerable babies and immuno-suppressed).