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 … read on
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. … read on
Fall (and flu) is in the air
Monday marked the first full day of autumn and my thoughts naturally turned 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 … read on
I’m not saying it’s cronyism…
The Los Angeles Times reported that the health insurance giant WellPoint, which operates health plans in several states, including California, posted a strong 2nd-quarter profit jump of 24%.
Carl McDonald, a health care analyst, was quoted:
“Earnings from WellPoint’s government business more than doubled sequentially in the second quarter, aided by the California Medicaid business, favorable Medicare prescription drug plan, seasonality, and what was
… read on
Last week a small child flew on an overseas flight from China to Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle.
A few days later, the child was diagnosed with the measles. Local public health officials were notified, and they began the task of contacting anyone who might have been exposed to the virus while on the plane or in the airport.
Because measles is easily spread by coughing or … read on
The HPV vaccine works
Positive news was reported in the Journal of Infectious Diseases: Since vaccination for the human papillomavirus (HPV) was introduced in 2006, the rate of HPV infection has dropped by 56%.
The study looked at infection rates in girls age 14 to 19. HPV can lead to cervical cancer or throat cancer later in life, but only about 30% of teen girls and boys are being … read on
Don’t want hepatitis A? Get vaccinated!
At last report there were 61 cases of hepatitis A resulting from contaminated frozen berries sold at Costco in several states. Hepatitis A is an infection of the liver, and the virus is usually passed along from an infected person through contaminated food.
The CDC recommends the hepatitis A vaccine for all children, and for adults who might be at higher risk, such as … read on
When an object breaks through the skin, the injury is called a puncture wound. Stepping on a tack is a minor puncture wound; being stabbed or shot are more deadly examples.
Luckily, most of us don’t need to worry about being shot or stabbed.
But puncture wounds are not uncommon (your mother taught you not to run with sharp, pointy objects, didn’t she?), and there are a couple special things … read on
Before I left on vacation a week ago, one of the popular health-related news stories was that in a rare show of bipartisan support, Congress was set to approve a 75¢-per-shot tax on the flu vaccine. Critics of both government and vaccines in general jumped on this congressional tidbit, although for different reasons.
The more conservative media decried the tax, saying it was unnecessary and simply a sneaky way for … read on
It appears that the 2012-13 flu season is especially severe and has not yet reached its peak, which is when the maximum number of cases have been reported and we start to see a downward trend.
In early November, I posted about the advantages, health-wise and financial, of getting a flu shot.
It’s still not too late, and there is ample vaccine available.
FYI, it takes about two weeks … read on