Education effort provides measles/pertussis cheat sheet
The recent measles outbreak has pushed pro- and anti-vaccination positions onto front pages, but a PSA by the American Osteopathic Association released Tuesday addresses another aspect of the vaccine movement: Doctors need help spotting diseases that vaccines have wiped from collective memory.
“Most Americans under 50 have never seen measles, mumps or even chicken pox because of the historically high levels of vaccination in the US,” said Stanley Grogg, osteopathic pediatrician and the professional group's liaison to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement. His experience echoes one that WebMD's expert pediatrician Hansa Bhargava expressed during a 2014 interview with MM&M in which discussed antibiotic use and vaccinations.
Grogg also noted that younger doctors tend to tap him for diagnosis confirmation because “they've only seen these illnesses in a textbook.”
The AOA's education effort includes a “Classic Illnesses: Telltale Signs” graphic that notes “a number of old diseases are making a comeback.” The handout uses cartoon images of patients with measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox and pertussis, along with symptoms that should prompt a doctor's visit.
Three of the illnesses are covered by the MMR vaccine, which has been assailed by anti-vaccination critics concerned about since-discredited links to autism as well as anti-abortion rights activists who, the Wall Street Journal noted yesterday, object to the vaccine's use of stem cells that were derived from aborted fetuses. A spokesperson tells MM&M that members receive the infographic by email.