Measles outbreak raises patient safety challenge for pediatricians

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

April 14, 2015

Fifteen years ago, the United States declared that measles had been eliminated. The number of cases had shrunk to just 86, the lowest it had ever been.

But 2015 statistics have already outpaced that number just within the first month of the year. The CDC reported 121 confirmed cases in 17 states and Washington, D.C., from January 1 to February 6. Most of the cases (103) have been linked to Disneyland, which has been identified as the source of the outbreak. This follows a significant spike in cases last year (more than 600) that has caused alarm for medical professionals and public health officials alike.

The outbreak has also ignited a fiery discussion about vaccination rates. Statistics show a steady decline in MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccination rates since 2000. In California, for example, rates have dropped from 95.4% to 92.6% statewide. The drop has been fueled by an anti-vaccination movement among parents that believe the vaccine is dangerous.

This is an excerpt from an article in the Patient Safety Monitor Journal.


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