Maui Derm for Dermatologists

Maui Derm for Dermatologists

January 28, 2020
2 min read

Dermatologists play role in measles, coronavirus prevention

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MAUI, HAWAII — There are several ways that dermatologists in the United States can help infectious disease specialists keep the number of measles and coronavirus cases to a minimum, according to a speaker here at Maui Derm for Dermatologists 2020.

As part of her presentation, Sheila Fallon-Friedlander, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics and dermatology medicine at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, showed attendees a picture of a boy with small reddish-looking spots covering his chest. After giving the group a few moments to guess what disease the boy had, she revealed that the child in the picture had measles.

“Why should dermatologists like us care about measles?” she asked. “Because measles is still out there. Because various forms of the disease are out there.”

As previously reported by Healio, WHO and CDC data indicate that 140,000 people died from measles in 2018. In addition, there were at least 1,000 cases of measles in the United States in 2019, the most since 1994.

“It is critical that when you see a child with this type of rash and has other symptoms such as nasal conjunctivitis, that you consider the possibility that the patient has measles,” Fallon-Friedlander said.

She noted that though measles vaccination administration is the responsibility of a pediatrician or primary care physician, dermatologists can help these other medical professionals by encouraging their patients to get the vaccine.

“My colleagues at the University of California San Diego tell me that about half of the people who are vaccine hesitant will eventually give in and get the vaccine if they keep getting asked about the vaccine,” Fallon-Friedlander said. “So, if you speak to your patients in a reasonable fashion about the vaccine, you may help turn the tide of measles.”

Another infectious disease that dermatologists can help keep under control is coronavirus, according to Fallon-Friedlander.

The CDC says signs of coronavirus include cough, shortness of breath and fever. Fallon-Friedlander said anyone who has patients with these symptoms should contact the CDC immediately.

“[The CDC] will rapidly send you a test that the patient can utilize to see if they have coronavirus.”– by Janel Miller


CDC. 2019 Novel coronavirus, Wuhan, China. Accessed Jan. 27, 2019.

Fallon-Friedlander S. Pediatric dermatology. Presented at: Maui Derm for Dermatologists; Jan. 25-29, 2020; Maui, Hawaii.

Disclosure: Healio Dermatology was unable to determine Fallon-Friedlander’s relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.