YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Just in the last week, experts with the Ohio Department of Health say more than two dozen cases of traditional seven-day measles have been confirmed among Amish communities in five counties in central Ohio.
But in his three years years of family practice at Northside Medical Center and three years of residency before that, Dr. Szymon Krzyzanowski has never seen a live case of the measles.
It has simply been that long since the disease was largely wiped out by a vaccine. The last time this area saw a measles outbreak was nearly 25 years ago, in 1990, when about 100 local high school students came down with the disease.
“Throughout the history of medicine, there’s actually always been diseases that physicians in training have not seen. A good example of that is a physician much older than myself coming up in residency years ago probably never saw small pox,” Dr. Krzyanowski said.
The doctor said he relies on his own medical training, as well as updated information that’s now available thanks to the Internet. And he said physicians also can consult with specialists for problems with which they may not be as familiar.
“There is always textbooks, always pictures available to us as physicians and to residents, and really that’s what we have to rely on most,” Dr. Krzyanowski said.
Both he and Dr. John Venglarcik, an infectious disease specialist, said the recent measles cases, as well as many affected by an outbreak of mumps in Central Ohio can be blamed, at least in part, on patients whose parents never had them vaccinated as children.
“They absolutely need to take this into very serious consideration that they are placing their child’s life and health at risk,” Dr. Venglarcik said.
Venglarcik said a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control claims tens of thousands of lives could be saved through child immunizations.
In the meantime, Dr. Venglarcik is growing concerned about another medical issue known as the “super bugs.” A recent study by the World Health Organization shows bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics are now being reported all over the world.
The results have a number of medical experts predicting there will be people having to be hospitalized, and even dying, from minor injuries and common infections that cannot be treated with traditional antibiotics.
“It’s not a real possibility, it’s the future. It’s going to happen. We have been talking about this problem for a decade and we have been telling people ‘please don’t get an antibiotic for a cold, please don’t get it for a simple cough.’ And no one will listen,” Venglarcik said.
Venglarcik said the root of the problem is far too many people getting antibiotic prescriptions for non-bacterial illnesses, such as the common cold.
In that WHO report, doctors said they found high rates of drug-resistant strains of E-coli, pneumonia and gonorrhea.