January 31, 2024
This year, we’re seeing measles make an unfortunate comeback.
The headlines are local and global. Late last year, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health identified a cluster of locally acquired cases. Nationally, there have been 23 cases from December through January 23, the CDC reported last week. During 2022, measles cases increased 18 percent globally, while deaths rose 43 percent, according to a new report.
“The threat of measles exposure in the United States has been growing over the last decade,” Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said in a statement last month. “We strongly encourage parents to follow the CDC’s immunization schedule and get their children fully vaccinated as soon as they are able.”
Our communities have a shared responsibility for public health, and as emergency managers we all understand the threat measles presents our hospitals and health care facilities. We know we must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable, especially infants who are too young for vaccination and others who are immunocompromised.
As we follow the latest public health trends, here are some important considerations for your emergency preparedness professionals:
We hope that we’ll never need to respond to a measles outbreak in our community, but we should be aware of the larger trends. When we see a public health concern on the horizon, it helps to have already thought of the action steps in your all-hazards plan.
The bottom line: with measles cases increasing globally, we must be ready to take action locally.
For questions, contact Christopher Chamberlain, MS, RN, CHEP, vice president, emergency management.
Tags: Public Health | Emergency Preparedness
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