Thursday, February 27, 2014

KISS 2/27/14 Good and bad measles news

1. PSA: If you work in a cancer center, get your MMRs

A research student at the Hillman Cancer Center infected with measles has exposed 300 co-workers and cancer patients to this highly contagious disease. 15 unvaccinated colleagues have been asked to stay at home until next week, over 100 non immune patients were seen and some have had to be treated with anti-measles immunoglobulins to prevent infection. This is a total nightmare scenario, easily prevented by getting your MMRs. So if you are about to start work in a cancer research center (or hospital, or nursery, or school), or you are planning to travel abroad, check that you have had 2x MMRs. Do not be that index case!

2. Carribean has not seen measles transmission since 2002

Not that I would encourage anyone to travel unvaccinated, but you would be unlikely to bring back measles from the Carribean, as PAHO reports today. Before the establishment of PAHO/WHO’s Expanded Immunization Program in 1977, more than 250,000 measles cases and 12,000 deaths were recorded yearly in the Americas, so this is an amazing, life saving success of measles containing vaccines/MMR.

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