Recognizing Vaccine-Preventable Diseases and Managing Outbreaks

Prim Care. 2020 Sep;47(3):467-481. doi: 10.1016/j.pop.2020.05.003. Epub 2020 May 22.


Outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases are becoming more common in the United States. Outbreaks of some diseases, such as measles, can be attributed to decreasing vaccination rates. Clinicians need to be aware of the vulnerabilities in their communities. Detection of an outbreak requires familiarity with signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings for these now unusual diseases. Clinicians also need to work with public health officials to identify, treat, and limit the spread of these infections. This article describes the populations most at risk from illnesses associated with sporadic outbreaks, with information on diagnosis, treatment, and ways to limit the spread of infection.

Keywords: Disease outbreaks; Disease surveillance; Hepatitis A; Measles; Meningococcal infection; Mumps; Pertussis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control / organization & administration*
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Humans
  • Public Health Administration*
  • Risk
  • United States
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Vaccine-Preventable Diseases / prevention & control*