Vaccine-preventable diseases: Hospitals faced with new challenges as illnesses return

The resurgence of illnesses like measles, mumps, diphtheria, pertussis and other vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) presents special problems for hospitals and healthcare institutions, particularly in their intensive care units and operating rooms, according to research published in the journal Anesthesia and Analgesia

Many clinicians are encountering these once-rare diseases for the first time as VPDs make a comeback due to a combination of reduced effectiveness, an increase in the number of people who travel to countries with higher disease rates, the anti-vaccine movement and disease-causing pathogens' adaptation.

The research presented a review and update for about nine different VPDs for healthcare providers: measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, diphtheria, influenza, meningococcal disease, varicella and poliomyelitis. Researchers outlined precautionary measures for personnel, particularly for those who work in the operating room and intensive care unit.

While recent outbreaks like the measles cases in California, acceptance of vaccines will tick up briefly, "(h)ospital-based physicians…should be prepared to diagnose and treat patients with VPDs, while protecting themselves, their own families and other patients from infection," concluded the report.

To learn more:
- read the abstract