You and Your Health, FCH

You and Your Health, FCH

  • Thu May 2nd, 2019 9:41am
  • Life

Did you know?

There are 14 serious childhood diseases that can be prevented!

Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis (A & B), Diphtheria, Pertussis, Polio, Haemophilus influenza B (HIB), Pneumococcal Tetanus, Rotavirus Varicella (Chickenpox) and Seasonal Influenza.

By following the CDC’s immunization schedule your baby can have the best protection before they are two years old- and the vaccines are safe and effective, work with our body’s natural defenses, and are covered by most insurance policies or by Vaccines for Children (VFC) Program.

While outbreaks of these diseases are rare they still happen-usually, they are brought into the United States by visitors from other countries where large outbreaks are still occurring.

Measles is one of those diseases, nationwide in the first four months of 2019 — 22 states reported cases — totaling 626 (in 4 months) compared to 372 in all of 2018. Measles spreads quickly; it becomes airborne with coughing and sneezing and can live suspended in the air for up to 2 hours. If others breathe the contaminated air or touch surfaces then touch their eyes, nose or mouth they too can become infected. Sadly, for every 1000 children who get Measles 1 or 2 will die. Most of the 626 cases reported in 2019 were not vaccinated.

Polio, a crippling and potentially deadly disease, is another that through vaccination was eliminated in the United States, but not in other countries. If more and more families choose not to vaccinate their children we might again see outbreaks of Polio, by losing our herd immunity. Herd immunity is a concept that if you get vaccinated you are not only protecting yourself but your community. So, If 90 percent of a population get vaccinated we can say we have herd immunity –meaning that we will protect the other 10% who won’t or can’t get the vaccine. There will be less circulating disease to spread making these outbreaks rarer and rarer.

Nikki Redd R.N.

Infection Preventionist

for Forks Hospital

Disclaimer: This column is not intended as a diagnosis or recommended treatment of a specific condition.

Answers are not a replacement for an individual medical evaluation.

Individual health concerns should be evaluated by a licensed clinician.