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HEALTH MINISTRY FOCUS May 2019 Immunization

Measles Cases in 2019

From January 1 to April 19, 2019, 626 individual cases of measles have been confirmed in 22 states. This is an increase of 71 cases from the previous week. This is the second-greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000, second only to the 667 cases reported during all of 2014. In the coming weeks, 2019 confirmed case numbers will likely surpass 2014 levels.

-Centers for Disease Control

Healthy People 2020

Goal: Increase immunization rates and reduce preventable infectious diseases.

Overview: The increase in life expectancy during the 20th century was largely due to improvements in child survival; this increase is associated with reductions in infectious disease mortality, due largely to immunization. However, infectious diseases remain a major cause of illness, disability, and death. Immunization recommendations in the United States currently target 17 vaccine-preventable diseases across the lifespan.

Why Are Immunization and Infectious Diseases Important? People in the United States continue to get diseases that are vaccine preventable. Viral hepatitis, influenza, and tuberculosis (TB) remain among the leading causes of illness and death in the United States and account for substantial spending on the related consequences of infection.

The infectious disease public health infrastructure, which carries out disease surveillance at the Federal, State, and local levels, is an essential tool in the fight against newly emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases.

Other important defenses against infectious diseases include:

  • Proper use of vaccines

  • Antibiotics

  • Screening and testing guidelines

  • Scientific improvements in the diagnosis of infectious disease-related health concerns

Emerging Issues in Immunization and Infectious Diseases: In the coming decade, the United States will continue to face new and emerging issues in the area of immunization and infectious diseases. The public health infrastructure must be capable of responding to emerging threats. State-of-the-art technology and highly skilled professionals need to be in place to provide rapid response to the threat of epidemics. A coordinated strategy is necessary to understand, detect, control, and prevent infectious diseases. Below are some specific emerging issues.

  • As the demographics of the population continue to shift, public health and health care systems will need to expand their capacity to protect the growing needs of a diverse and aging population.

  • New infectious agents and diseases continue to be detected. Infectious diseases must be looked at in a global context due to increasing international travel and trade, migration, importation of foods and agricultural practices, threats of bioterrorism. Inappropriate use of antibiotics and environmental changes multiply the potential for worldwide epidemics of all types of infectious diseases.

Infectious diseases are a critical public health, humanitarian, and security concern; coordinated efforts will protect people across the Nation and around the world.


Courtesy of Lutheran Church Missouri Synod – Pacific Southwest District

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