As many Arizona parents may know, measles are on the rise in several states including Arizona and California, and infection may result from exposure to travelers who were not vaccinated. Many younger physicians, according to a professor at the University of California in San Diego, have no experience with measles and may not recognize it.
Measles symptoms include nasal discharge, sore throat, conjunctivitis and cough accompanied by a fever. As the disease progresses, individuals develop a rash consisting of red spots that virtually cover their bodies. This contagious disease may be transmitted in a doctor’s office or at the hospital. An emergency room in San Diego has established a room for patients who might be infected with measles to prevent other patients from being infected. One San Diego physician, who is the chair of the California American Academy of Pediatrics, said he excludes pediatric patients from his practice if they are unvaccinated.
Some parents delay or prevent their children from being vaccinated, and a number of doctors believe not vaccinating children is causing a public health emergency. Conversely, the parents who are refusing or delaying vaccination are saying that they have the right to decide if vaccination is needed at specific times in the child’s life.
Physicians must often educate patients concerning health measures including vaccination schedules. Since many younger doctors are not familiar with measles, misdiagnosis may occur, particularly in the early stages. Lack of a proper diagnosis may result in harm to the child and may expose other children to the illness.
A parent may wish to speak with an attorney concerning the continuing care the child may need. The attorney may file a malpractice suit against the healthcare provider to recover the financial damages associated with it.