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Title: Measles is back
Authors: Farrugia, Ruth
Pace, David
Keywords: Measles -- Vaccination
Measles -- Epidemiology
Anti-vaccination movement
Vaccination -- Complications
Measles -- Prevention
Issue Date: 2019-10
Publisher: University of Malta. Medical School
Citation: Farrugia, R., & Pace, D. (2019). Measles is back. Malta Medical Journal, 31(2), 6-11.
Abstract: Measles is one of the most deadly vaccine preventable diseases. The incidence of measles, and resultant mortality, had dropped drastically following the introduction of widespread measles immunisation since the 1960s. However, there is currently a worldwide surge in measles cases, with a marked increase over the past 3 years. Measles outbreaks and endemic transmission have been re-established in countries which had previously achieved measles elimination. The rise in measles cases has been mainly attributed to a drop in the recommended two dose vaccination schedule below the 95% uptake threshold necessary for interruption of transmission and sustainment of herd protection. This resurgence of measles is largely a result of the damage done by Andrew Wakefield, who in 1998 incorrectly and maliciously suggested a possible link between the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Such a possible association has subsequently been disproven by several scientifically robust studies. Still, most cases of measles have occurred in unimmunised individuals, mainly teenagers, who had missed out on vaccination in early childhood, and in infants under one year of age, who are too young to be vaccinated. Measles is highly contagious, with up to 18 people being potentially infected from a single case, so containment measures are important to prevent spread. These include isolation and immediate notification of suspected or confirmed cases, as well as wearing appropriate personal protective equipment when in contact with these patients. Health care professionals have a crucial role in promoting measles immunisation, which is the only rational way of preventing measles.
Appears in Collections:MMJ, Volume 31, Issue 2
MMJ, Volume 31, Issue 2

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