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Author: UCA Admin/Thursday, April 18, 2019/Categories: Industry News
Posted by Jasmeet Bhogal, MD, CUCM Board President
Measles cases are on the rise in the United States according to recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Urgent care clinicians will play a crucial role in diagnosing and managing these cases, as we are often the first line of defense. Consider the possibility of measles in patients presenting to your urgent care center with a febrile rash illness.
The virus is spread by direct contact with infectious droplets or by coughing or sneezing.
As a first step, identify the signs and symptoms associated with Measles. The prodromal phase is characterized by fever, malaise, cough, coryza and conjunctivitis, Koplik spots followed by a maculopapular rash.
Patients are considered to be contagious from 4 days before to 4 days after the rash appears.
Common complications include otitis media, bronchopneumonia, laryngotracheobronchitis and diarrhea. People at risk for severe illness or complications include: infants and children <5 years of age, adults >20 years, pregnant women, immunocompromised states such as HIV and leukemia.
Laboratory confirmation is done by taking two specimens: serum specimen to check for measles specific IgM-antibody, and respiratory specimen to check for measles RNA RT-PCR.
Isolation: Should be for 4 days after the patient develops a rash. Airborne precautions should be observed by all healthcare professionals.
Treatment is supportive care. Children who are admitted with severe illness should receive Vitamin A.
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