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Clark County measles outbreak: & # 39; It's completely prevented & # 39;

  Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick said the measles outbreak, which has spread.

Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick said the measles outbreak, which has spread over Clark County, is one of the greatest and scariest transmissible diseases events he has ever worked on. The Colombian Files

Clark County Public Health Director Dr. Alan Melnick, 65, remembers when he had measles as a child and remembers the expenses in bed with blinds drawn due to conjunctivitis and photophobic measles causes.

"I have a healthy respect for measles and how scary it can be," Melnick said.

melnick is now leading the charge against the outbreak of the very virus. He said this outbreak is one of the biggest and most scariest communicable disease incidents where he has been involved. Last week, Melnick sat with The Columbian for an interview on vaccination myths, protocol to fight an outbreak and the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

The size and length of the outbreak:

"When we come into generations of the outbreak, this can continue for weeks, not months. Every generation, you have more people exposed, more people get sick they have several contacts in several places they have been, it is not quite an exponential function, but you can see the numbers may increase over time, we try to limit it as much as possible with the messages we give out. concern is that this can continue for weeks, not months, and we can see much larger numbers. "

The unseen costs:

" This puts stress on schools; think about the cost of the state health ministry who has mobilized and then you need to think about the medical costs. We have already had a child hospitalized. Hospitalization is expensive. Doctors visit and everything else is done. What we have spent on public health is a fraction of what sign up is used worldwide for this. In addition to the human suffering going on, it is money that we throw into the drain that could have been put to other uses. "

How outbreak control works:

" When we have a confirmed case, it is reported to us. We are certainly concerned about their health, but a provider has seen them and taken care of them. We are concerned about where they have been. We will interview the confirmed case and identify when their symptoms started and where they have been for all time, they have been contagious ̵

1; going from the moment their symptoms start, which generally occurs several days before the onset of rash – and then You are contagious during that time and four days after the outbreak. So, our staff will spend time interviewing the family if it is a child and adult if it is an adult who identifies each place that person had been in the contagious period and identifies potential sites of exposure. "

How outbreak control works:

" It gets pretty complicated because we not only have to identify which school they are in, we also need to identify if the school shares buildings with other schools, and which bus route the child has been on and whether that bus actually went to more than one school because you can be delayed two hours after the person with the measles left. We look at half an hour before they came there as reported and two hours after they reported leaving. "

How Hospital Outbreak Control Works:

" If it's a clinical or emergency department, we need to work with them to get the list of anyone who may have been in the clinic for half an hour before and two hours after the patient with the measles case back. We contact them and we will not only contact them and ask them about their immunization status, but we also ask them if they brought anyone with them. If you are not immunized, we begin to do what we call active monitoring, where we contact people all day because we want to know if they develop symptoms or not. "

On people who ask about the early cases are still ill:

" When we try to control an outbreak, we cannot use resources that call these people to see, " Are you better yet? How are you? Are you still eating? Are you sleeping? "The bottom line is, we expect people to see doctors and doctors to take care of them. There is really no treatment for measles, but putting our resources in contact with people to see how they do it or make them call us when they get better is an abuse of resources in trying to control this outbreaks, and I can't understand why people ask us how long the infected cases are sick. I think they are trying to prove their belief that this is not a bad disease. "

Is the vaccine safe?

" The vaccine is incredibly safe. There are many myths going on around it. It is effective and it protects against a disease that is so much more terrible, exponentially more horrible than anything that would happen to the vaccine. The vaccine is safe. Before we got a vaccine program in this country, measles killed 400 to 500 people a year in the states. We had almost 50,000 admissions each year. We had 4,000 cases of encephalitis, which are swelling in the brain, and some of them ended up with deaf people. We have already had a hospitalization. Any number more than zero of measles to me is too large a figure here. Children usually do not end up in the hospital. Old people like me can end up in the hospital more often. So don't tell me this isn't a serious illness. This is mythology here. We have evidence right in front of us. It is completely prevented. "

How effective is the vaccine?

" If you have had the two vaccines, it is 97% effective and it lasts a lifetime. Certainly, the measles will provide lifelong immunity. I have choices between measles, potentially lethal, for lifelong immunity, or two cheap and safe shots. I'm going to the shots. Hands down. "

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