Measles has long been one of the leading causes of childhood blindness worldwide, but with the recent U.S. outbreak—due to a decrease in vaccination compliance for the disease—many parents nationwide are growing concerned. While there are no specific anti-viral treatments for the disease, there are several crucial ways ophthalmologists can stop the outbreak in its tracks, according to David Hunter, MD, PhD.
Health plans and providers play a critical role in maintaining U.S. vaccination rates and can help reverse the recent MMR vaccination-rate decline, a factor responsible for the recent re-emergence of measles.
Between January 1 and October 31 of this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 603 cases of measles in 22 states—the highest number since 1994—marking a striking resurgence of a disease that was declared eliminated in the United States in 2001.
When researchers studied mortality from conditions with skin manifestations in developed versus developing countries, they found living in the developed world doesn’t always translate to lower death rates. Age-adjusted mortality for melanoma, for example, was about five times greater in the developed world than in developing countries.
When vaccines eradicate illnesses (eg, smallpox), life is grand. However, when eradication is impossible (eg, pneumococcus), what is the goal of vaccination? The most essential vaccine function is to reduce the number and/or severity of infections.