News stories like this make me crazy: Disneyland measles outbreak grows, sparks concern. Or this from my local newspaper: Measles makes it to Seattle from Disneyland.
At least 17 people have been infected in the outbreak, which occurred among people who visited Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park in Orange County, Calif….It’s likely that a person who was contagious visited the theme park during that period and spread it to others.
A 20-something young woman from Washington state was one of those infected with measles while at Disneyland. Judging by her age, she is most likely one of … Continue reading
Not as effective, but still helpful
On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a health advisory. It appears this year’s flu vaccine is not a great genetic match for the majority of flu cases seen thus far. This is called a virus “drift.”
That’s too bad, but because the flu vaccine is made before the flu season starts, it’s always a bit of an educated guess. Some years are a better match than others.
Related post: Get your seasonal flu shot
The media has been reporting that the vaccine is less effective this year, and perhaps you … Continue reading
Fall (and flu) is in the air
Tomorrow will be the first full day of autumn and my thoughts naturally turn to . . . influenza. Yes, that’s how my mind works.
I’m already seeing flu shots advertised at my local grocery store pharmacy, and at other chain drug stores in my neighborhood.
Flu season typically runs from November to March, but no one can predict with accuracy exactly when the first cases will start showing up or when the season will end–sometimes as early as October to as late as May. It’s unpredictable as well how severe the upcoming … Continue reading
Last week there was another warning in our local newspaper that a person diagnosed with measles had traveled through our airport. The article advised anyone who was at the airport during that particular time frame, and who might not be vaccinated and/or might be pregnant, to talk to their health care provider.
Measles is very contagious and can be especially dangerous to pregnant women.
In light of continuing misinformation about vaccinations, and the possibility that more unvaccinated children will be in our schools due to the influx of immigrants from Mexico and Central America, I decided to republish this post … Continue reading
It’s not that contagious
For the last couple of weeks, the terrible outbreaks of the Ebola virus have been all over the news. Especially since two victims, American health care workers in Africa, were brought back to the US for treatment.
Headlines such as “CDC issues highest level alert amid Ebola outbreak” and “Ebola called ‘clear and present danger'” stir fear in Americans. But if you read the entire articles (and not everyone takes time to do that), you discover the danger is limited to certain countries in Western Africa.
Still, that hasn’t stopped Donald Trump from tweeting his … Continue reading
More outbreaks of preventable diseases
Always disturbing to me are the news stories about outbreaks of deadly, crippling diseases—pertussis, measles, polio—that can be safely and effectively prevented by vaccination.
The most recent measles outbreak is in Ohio.
The Ohio outbreak, like ongoing outbreaks in California and elsewhere, has been linked to unvaccinated travelers bringing the measles virus back from countries where the disease remains common. In Ohio, all of the cases have been among the Amish, health officials say. The outbreak began after Amish missionaries returned from the Philippines. The Philippines is experiencing a large, ongoing measles outbreak with
… Continue reading
CDC reports low rates for key vaccinations
Last week the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) published its annual report on adult vaccination rates in the US.
Vaccination coverage levels among adults are low. Improvement in adult vaccination is needed to reduce the health consequences of vaccine-preventable diseases among adults and to prevent pertussis [whooping cough] morbidity and mortality in infants, who need the protection afforded by the Tdap vaccination.
Besides yearly flu shots, other vaccinations adults should consider are:
- Td/Tdap (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis “whooping cough”)
- Varicella (chickenpox)
- HPV (human papilloma virus)
- MMR (measles, mumps, rubella)
- Hepatitis A
… Continue reading
The nasty H1N1 swine flu is back
Reports indicate that flu (influenza) season is in full swing—the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website shows widespread flu cases in most states.
I also like to look at Google Flu Trends, which shows an increasing number of Google searches using keywords related to the flu:
The H1N1 swine flu seems to be the predominate strain this year. We last saw this flu bug in the pandemic of 2009.
H1N1 is considered particularly strong, or virulent, because it hits relatively young (under 65) and healthy adults very hard. Why? Because … Continue reading
The canary in the coal mine
Late last week I read the troubling story about a recent polio outbreak in Syria. Although polio, thanks to the vaccine, has been almost eradicated in most parts of the world, it is still present in several middle eastern countries.
Because of political unrest and the huge numbers of refugees fleeing to Europe, world public health officials worry about more widespread outbreaks of this crippling, and deadly, disease.
Outbreaks of highly contagious, but preventable, diseases have become more common because of the anti-vaccination movement. And as these like-minded individuals tend to settle … Continue reading
Yes, I support vaccines. It’s simple.
Vaccines save lives. Vaccines prevent illness. Illness prevention saves money.
I was happy to see read an article this morning by mom and Huffington Post journalist JJ Keith also speaking up in favor of vaccines: “I’m coming out…as pro-vaccine”
Ms. Keith tells the story of two children, Jack and Clio, who are both being treated for leukemia and therefore cannot be vaccinated against measles. Because other children (by their parents’ decision) are not vaccinated, this puts Jack and Clio at even higher risk of contracting and dying from this very preventable disease.
An increasing … Continue reading