Measles is a highly infectious and acute viral disease of childhood. It was considered to have been eliminated in the U.S. but has reappeared in recent years. An estimated 20 million cases of measles globally continue to occur, making it a leading cause of death among children. The illness is rare in developed nations, but many outbreaks have occurred in the U.S. recently as a result of many factors, including importation of cases among travelers returning from endemic areas and inadequate vaccine coverage. Measles diagnosis is usually made clinically when a person presents themselves with a variety of symptoms such as cough, high fever, conjunctivitis, and coryza in cephalocaudaldissemination. The illness is also familiar with complications, including pneumonia, encephalitis, otitis media, and rarely death. A vaccine for measles is available in two doses, which provides marvelous protection against the illness. Vaccination coverage, however, remains weak, especially among young adults despite the vaccine being present. Interventions are urgently required to address vaccine hesitancy and low vaccination rates given its resurgence in the U.S. and other nations.
The 2019 year alone, so the U.S. report the highest number of measles cases since 1992. It caused significant concerns among healthcare providers as nearly 1000 cases were reported across 26 states, in which several states had to declare a state of emergency in response to the outbreaks. Despite the outbreak being severe, there are some protocols that healthcare professionals need to have to ensure their facilities aren’t vulnerable to the spread of the measles virus. By implementing these protocols, one can limit or possibly address the spread of measles in their healthcare facility. Among the resources include having the right HR policies, well-established staff training measures as well as the right equipment. The right HR policies, such as having isolation areas ready and knowing which people are most vulnerable to the disease, is one necessary procedure to practice, which can go a long way in addressing the issue. This illness can be prevented by a vaccine commonly known as Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) that is administered in two doses during one’s childhood. There are, however, categories of people who are still specifically susceptible to the illness. They include pregnant women, children under five and infants, unvaccinated people, as well as individuals with compromised immune systems like from leukemia, HIV, or autoimmune illness. Also, given the contagiousness of the disease, it is incredibly crucial to have a designated area of isolation where one can quarantine while observing patients believed to have the measles virus.
Moreover, having guidelines and staff training measures is a valuable resource to address the virus. These guidelines should be ensured all the staff is following them. Having particular and regular training on guidelines for infection control and scenarios for the measles outbreak is vital for ensuring each person in the healthcare facility is on board with a plan for infection control. All staff members need to be informed and trained on the guidelines for infection control, starting from senior administrators to maintenance employees. Thirdly, having the right equipment is also very essential in addressing the spread of this contagious virus. The right equipment, such as personal protection equipment like gloves and face masks, isolation, as well as disinfection equipment, can help in protecting and disinfecting the healthcare facilities, which can prevent further outbreaks from occurring.
The outbreak of managerial response needs to be created fast and aggressively. Various factors can lead to different types of outbreak responses, including the existing infrastructure for health-services, susceptibility in the population, as well as risk factors for the spread and complications. A district tier Outbreak Coordination Committee needs to be formulated before the outbreak occurrence to enhance the capacity to respond to the outbreak of the measles virus. A government official is required to chair the committee and should include all probable associates, including NGOs that work in the affected region. Coordinating the outbreak risk assessment, as well as evaluation and implementation of the response would be the primary role of the committee.
The impacts of measles outbreak are severe, ranging from economical to the cultural effects. This paper will discuss the cultural consequences that arise from the measles virus outbreak. For instance, the infestation can leave a significant impact on peoples’ daily lives, causing absenteeism from schools, work, and social interaction. Many people infected or affected with the disease often spend more time off work or out of school as they spend that time mainly for recovering or taking care of the infected person, respectively. The infected person is also restricted from a social gathering, making him/her not able to interact with others for fears of spreading the illness to others. Therefore, making them unable to meet and make new friends.
Furthermore, it also leads to postponement of various events like sports. For example, when a specific nation is set to host a particular event like a sports activity such as Olympic Games and that country happens to be hit hard by many cases of a measles virus outbreak, it can lead to the rescheduling of the event to avoid exposing other people to the disease.
For instance, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the need to reduce the transmission of diseases to healthcare personnel, patients, and others. It also suggests the maximization of the efficiency of utilizing PPE across the community health system while safeguarding healthcare providers, as well as reducing the adverse effects on hospital bed capacity and emergency departments. The health insurance market places of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provide affordable care coverage that patients can now use to take care of their healthcare bills. It is because many of them lose their jobs in the course of an infectious disease outbreak, as well as their employer-based insurances. Moreover, the American Medical Association (AMA) also guides healthcare personnel and policies related to non-essential care provision to patients to help them triage requests of non-urgent patients. Also, it is in the best interest of everyone for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to recommend the delay and rescheduling of surgical and procedural cases for inpatients and outpatients. And assessment of the appropriate care level through the identification of instances where postponement risks outweigh the advantages, as well aspostponing routine visits for dental and eye care.
There is more need for proactive involvement with international agencies that bear on the socio-economic essentials in disadvantaged nations. Many less-developed nations need financial help from donor countries to attain the MDGs health-related, to handle emerging and re-emerging infectious illnesses like measles virus. Linkages should be strengthened between the sector of health and civil society, including those scrambling to promote development, environmental protection, human security, and human rights.
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