Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Educating through Art- Importance of Vaccinating

MPH@GW, the online Master of Public Health from the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, recently published two articles that focus on the importance of
immunization and vaccinating against measles. 

The graphics in both pieces were created by 2U Inc. on behalf of MPH@GW. In January 2019, Washington state declared a local public health emergency after confirming 26 cases of measles. These resources from MPH@GW were created to spread awareness, illustrate the state of measles in the U.S., and answer questions the public may have about the development of vaccines.

“A History of Measles in the United States” depicts the visual timeline of measles in the U.S., beginning with the first outbreaks reported in 1765, to the elimination of the disease in 2000, to its recent resurgence.

“Producing Prevention: The Complex Development of Vaccines” provides readers with the definitions of useful terms, as well as an easy-to-understand walkthrough of the phases of vaccine development. For anyone that’s ever wondered who, besides scientists, is involved in the production of vaccines, this resource also delves into the various people and the roles they play in bringing vaccines to the public.

Together, these resources reinforce the importance of immunization, particularly as measles outbreaks continue to occur. With this information, readers can gain a better understanding of the power that immunizations have to keep communities safe and healthy.

Nurses Who Vaccinate would like to encourage the sharing of these graphics and messages. Post them to your social media accounts and share with your friends, families and colleagues. Help get the message out about the importance of vaccinating!

We would like to thank the George Washington University's online MPH program for providing the graphics and information. For more information on their Public Health Program, please see- 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Important: Measles Outbreak Message- April 2019

The following is a letter from Dr. Melinda Wharton, the Director of Immunization Services Division, part of the National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please share with your colleagues and workplaces. 

As you may know, there have been multiple outbreaks of measles in the U.S. So far this year there have been 465 cases in 19 states. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000.  The majority of measles cases are in New York City and New York state, which are primarily among unvaccinated people in Orthodox Jewish communities and associated with travelers who brought measles back from Israel.

With the upcoming Passover holiday, which begins the evening of Friday April 19 and ends the evening of Saturday, April 27, we anticipate there may be more opportunities for measles to spread.

Please be aware that many people celebrating Passover do not stay at home. Families may travel to resorts, hotels, or take cruises for the holiday.  And there will likely be an influx of international travelers before Passover, including many from Israel where measles is circulating. Popular destinations include New York, New Jersey, Florida, Las Vegas, Arizona, and Washington, D.C.

Measles is highly contagious and spreads through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  Healthcare professionals should be vigilant about measles—

  • Ensure all patients are up to date on MMR vaccine.
  • Consider measles in patients presenting with febrile rash illness and clinically compatible measles symptoms (cough, runny nose, and conjunctivitis). Patients exposed to measles while traveling for Passover could begin to develop symptoms between late April through mid-May.
  • Ask patients about recent travel internationally or to domestic venues frequented by international travelers, as well as a history of measles exposures in their communities.
  • Promptly isolate patients with suspected measles to avoid disease spread and immediately report the suspect measles case to the health department.
  • Obtain specimens for testing from patients with suspected measles, including viral specimens for genotyping, which can help determine the source of the virus. Contact the local health department with questions about submitting specimens for testing.
Measles is so contagious that if one person has it, up to 9 of 10 people around them will also become infected if they are not protected. The virus can cause serious health complications, such as pneumonia or encephalitis, and even death.

CDC continues to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated on schedule with the MMR vaccine. People 6 months and older should be protected with the vaccine before leaving on international trips.

We appreciate your help spreading this message. Please share this letter as needed among your public health and community organizations. For additional information and resources on measles please visit the CDC’s measles website (

Thank you,

Melinda Wharton, MD, MPH
Director, Immunization Services Division
National Center for Immunization & Respiratory Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention