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Resurgence of Vaccine-Preventable Disease

Ethics in the Pediatric Emergency Department

Dreisinger, Naomi MD, MS; Lim, Czer Anthoney MD

doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001917
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After a decades-long reduction in vaccine-preventable illnesses worldwide, there has been a reappearance of childhood illnesses once thought to be eradicated. This resurgence in illnesses such as polio and measles is a consequence of multifactorial events leading to decreased vaccination rates. A lack of resources in poor and war-torn countries, coupled with increasing global travel, and decisions to delay or defer vaccinations because of inaccurate studies further emphasized by media have combined to result in current state of frequent local and widespread epidemics, specifically the current outbreak of measles. As providers in the pediatric emergency department, we are often the first to encounter children manifesting these diseases. It is imperative that we understand the circumstances leading to these encounters, so that we can have engaged conversations with families, gain an understanding of their motivations, dispel any misinformed beliefs, and encourage positive health behaviors for their children.

From the Pediatric Emergency Medicine and Short Stay Unit, Mount Sinai Beth Israel; and Department of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Naomi Dreisinger, MD, MS, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, 10 Nathan D. Perelman Pl, New York, NY 10003 (e-mail: naomidre@yahoo.com).

Online date: August 30, 2019

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