30 Apr 340B Informed: 340B Hospitals Are in the Trenches of the Measles Battle
“As the worst measles outbreak in decades continues, public health officials’ attention has focused on the importance of vaccinations to avoid spreading the disease.
Hospitals participating in 340B are among those responding to the outbreak. One such 340B hospital is Montefiore Nyack Hospital, a 375-bed acute care medical and surgical hospital in Rockland County, N.Y. Rockland County has been particularly affected by the measles outbreak. To date, the hospital has had 10 confirmed measles cases and has evaluated dozens of others for potential infections. Three patients have been admitted due to complications such as pneumonia.
The past six months have provided an unexpected problem for hospitals across the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that as of April 29, more than 700 measles cases have been confirmed for 2019, the largest number of confirmed cases since the disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. So far, 22 states have been affected, especially New York and Washington. As of late April, Rockland County reported more than 200 confirmed cases since the outbreak started there in October 2018.
The measles outbreak has presented a challenge for hospitals such as Montefiore Nyack, as measles is an extremely contagious disease. The virus can live for up to two hours in an airspace where an infected patient coughed or sneezed. This makes it crucial to isolate patients who are potential or confirmed cases. Montefiore Nyack has responded quickly to this by establishing isolation procedures for potential and confirmed patients.”