MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Measles was all but eradicated in the U.S. decades ago, thanks to the immunization program. That’s a problem for some doctors.
“The problem with measles in 2015 is that many doctors have never seen a case,” Hennepin County Medical Center’s Dr. David Hilden, who specializes in internal medicine, said.
Hilden said because of this, younger physicians sometimes don’t make a measles diagnosis until the appearance of a rash, which is a late stage symptom. He said he has seen just one measles case in his career.
The measles virus has the potential to kill.
“Older physicians just remember, because it was so common, the cases were in the hundreds of thousands,” Hilden said. “Newer physicians, which is most of them now, they’re brushing up a little bit on what measles looks like.”
Hilden said some of his colleagues are upset that they have to deal with a virus that is very preventable with a vaccine.
“The general response is not so much surprise but a little touch of irritation, if you will,” Hilden said. “All the way down to anger.”
Hilden said this all comes after measles was all but eradicated by the immunization program.
“Most of my doctor friends are frankly outraged that we are having to deal with this, because it is so preventable,” Hilden said.
There’s a major need to educate the public on how safe the measles vaccine is, Hilden added.
“It can save lives,” he said. “We’re almost inviting diseases from the past back into our life through our maybe well-intentioned but misinformed behaviors. There’s really no reason not to get your child vaccinated for measles.”
Hilden hosts WCCO Radio’s Healthy Matters program Sunday mornings from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.