Measles Outbreaks Reveal Inexperience of Medical Staff

Although Connecticut is on the other side of the country from the pockets of measles infections in California and Mexico, the surge in infections has raised concerns nationwide. Measles had been considered effectively eradicated until this sudden surge in confirmed cases.

The spike in measles is the highest in the United States for almost 20 years. Hundreds of thousands of cases used to be diagnosed every year, but widespread vaccinations had nearly eliminated it. Because the disease had become rare, the newest generation of health care workers is not familiar with its symptoms or severity. Many doctors and nurses may have never even seen a case. Their inexperience could delay detection and cause the disease to continue spreading.

Measles is highly infectious even before symptoms occur. Because measles has the potential to be deadly, proper diagnosis is essential to help slow the spread of the disease.

In addition to the likelihood of slow diagnoses contributing to the latest outbreaks in North America, people refusing the measles vaccine for their children have come under criticism. The rates of parents opting out of measles vaccinations in California has doubled since seven years ago. Some counties in California have therefore fallen below the protection threshold of 92 percent vaccination needed to prevent infections within the population.

The cycles associated with infectious disease can result in doctors not being familiar with it or appreciating its deadly potential. This lack of knowledge might cause a failure to diagnose. A person who lost a loved one because of a missed diagnosis might have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. An attorney might be able to assess the potential of a lawsuit. Such lawsuits often ask for compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills or lost income.