Arizona is home to the largest measles outbreak in the U.S., currently. That by itself does not warrant headlines, but health officials there have traced all 22 cases since May to a single detention center. The importance to urgent care operators—especially those that provide occupational health services—is that the outbreak is blamed, in part, one the refusal of some workers at the Eloy Detention Center to get vaccinated. Detainees there have all been vaccinated at this point, but persuading workers to get vaccinated or to show proof of immunity has been difficult. Administrators are monitoring detainees and continuing to provide immunizations; in addition, they’re referring staffers to nearby clinics, distributing literature on the dangers of measles, and providing masks and gloves to employees. Measles was considered eradicated in the U.S. back in 2000, but new cases have cropped up in recent years in large part because people don’t think they need to be vaccinated anymore. Educating occ med customers on the dangers of this “eradicated” disease could be good for their workers’ health as well as their business—and yours.
Why an Arizona Measles Outbreak is an Occupational Medicine Concern