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    Unvaccinated adult travelers pose measles risk

     


    Reminders of recent illness

    Endemic measles was eliminated in the U.S. in 2000, but periodic outbreaks persist due to importation of the disease, according to the study. Most of these cases enter the U.S. through returning U.S. travelers who were not sufficiently vaccinated prior to travel. Once imported, measles can spread quickly and easily, according to the report, with 90% of unvaccinated individuals contracting the disease after exposure to an infected person. The report cites recent outbreaks at Disneyland in 2015 and in Ohio in 2014, in which one or two cases quickly grew to the hundreds.

    In investigating why patients and physicians opted against the MMR vaccine before travel, the study found that 74% of patients were not concerned about illness. When physicians did not offer the vaccine, 94% of the time was because the provider thought the vaccine was not indicated, and 6% were because the physician thought there was insufficient time before travel to administer the vaccine. When health system barriers played a role, 99% of the time was because patients were referred to another provider for vaccination and patients might not follow through with the referral.

    The study highlights the need for physicians to be aware of the ACIP recommendation and conduct pre-travel assessments with their patients. Efforts should be made to educate patients about the need for vaccination and ensure that barriers to proper immunization are removed, according to the report.

     

     

    Rachael Zimlich, RN
    Rachael Zimlich is a freelance writer in Cleveland, Ohio. She writes regularly for Contemporary Pediatrics, Managed Healthcare ...

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