Recent News

5 things you should know about whooping cough

Oct 16 2018

​When you send your kids back to school in the fall, you expect them to start picking up a few bugs from their classmates. If they come home with a runny nose and a cough, you might not think much of it. Sometimes, though, that “cold” turns out to be something much more sinister: whooping cough. Although children are routinely vaccinated against whooping cough (or pertussis), the illness has been on the rise. In Utah County, there have been twice as many cases in 2018 as 2017. Here are five things you should know about whooping cough that will go toward protecting yourself and your family. What is pertussis? Pertussis is a serious respiratory illness that can be deadly for infants and small children. It is called whooping cough due to the characteristic “whooping” sound children make when they try to breathe. The disease is spread through the air when an infected person coughs, sneezes or even just breathes.

Source: KPC News KPC News

This autism dad has a warning for anti-vaxxers

Oct 16 2018

The vast majority of American parents vaccinate their kids. But the latest national data shows that the minority of kids under the age of 2 who aren’t protected by any vaccines has quadrupled over the past two decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of the babies born in 2015, 1.3 percent had received none of the recommended vaccinations by age 2 — up from 0.3 percent in 2001. If that wasn’t concerning enough, in some regions of the country, up to 40 percent of kids now aren’t being protected against preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough, says Peter Hotez, director of the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development at Baylor College of Medicine. “There are pockets across the US where you have a 20-fold increase, like we’ve seen in parts of Texas. Although, nationally, immunization rates may not have changed that much, we have pockets where 20 to 40 percent of kids aren’t vaccinated, and that gets you into trouble with measles and other [vaccine-preventable] infections.” So how did we get here? In a new book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel’s Autism, Hotez traces the roots of the problem back to 1998, when an esteemed medical journal published a small study that has become one of the most notorious and damaging research papers in medicine. The study, led by the discredited physician-researcher Andrew Wakefield, suggested there’s a link between autism and the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine — which is administered to millions of children around the world each year.

Source: Vox Vox

The biggest pandemic risk? Viral misinformation

Oct 16 2018

A hundred years ago this month, the death rate from the 1918 influenza was at its peak. An estimated 500 million people were infected over the course of the pandemic; between 50 million and 100 million died, around 3% of the global population at the time. A century on, advances in vaccines have made massive outbreaks of flu — and measles, rubella, diphtheria and polio — rare. But people still discount their risks of disease. Few realize that flu and its complications caused an estimated 80,000 deaths in the United States alone this past winter, mainly in the elderly and infirm. Of the 183 children whose deaths were confirmed as flu-related, 80% had not been vaccinated that season, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I predict that the next major outbreak — whether of a highly fatal strain of influenza or something else — will not be due to a lack of preventive technologies. Instead, emotional contagion, digitally enabled, could erode trust in vaccines so much as to render them moot. The deluge of conflicting information, misinformation and manipulated information on social media should be recognized as a global public-health threat.

Source: Nature International Journal of Science

Florida Child Dies From Flu, the First Young Death Reported in the U.S. This Season

Oct 16 2018

A child in Florida who had not received the flu vaccine died from the virus, state officials announced on Monday, the first influenza-related pediatric death reported in the country this flu season. While flu activity remains low across the United States, the Florida Department of Health said that a child tested positive for one of the strains, influenza B, and later died. Health officials would not release details about the death, including the child’s age, gender or location in the state, but said that the child did not have an underlying medical condition and died between Sept. 30 and Oct. 6. The flu season, which just began and stretches into winter, typically peaks during the coldest months. The death was notable because it occurred before any significant outbreaks in Florida or beyond and before many people have even received the vaccination. Federal health officials recommend getting the flu shot before the end of October.

Source: New York Times New York Times

A quiet rise in unvaccinated children could put the U.S. at risk of outbreaks

Oct 11 2018

​Vaccine exemption rates among infants and school-aged children have been quietly rising, creating volatile pockets of unimmunized individuals, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. For the third consecutive school year, unvaccinated communities have seen small but notable growth, according to the CDC’s latest National Immunization Survey. One school in Oregon has toddler vaccination rates lower than those in Venezuela. Only half of the preschoolers in the state received their MMR vaccines, compared to 57 percent of Venezuelan toddlers. Overall, the CDC reported child vaccination rates have been steadily increasing since 2001. The agency’s survey encompasses millions of children across 49 states* and the District of Columbia by pulling data from health care providers and schools. Their findings show that vaccine coverage remains high for 19- to 35-month-olds and kindergarteners.

Source: PBS News Hour PBS News Hour

Percentage of young U.S. children who don’t receive any vaccines has quadrupled since 2001

Oct 11 2018

A small but increasing number of children in the United States are not getting some or all of their recommended vaccinations. The percentage of children under 2 years old who haven’t received any vaccinations has quadrupled in the last 17 years, according to federal health data released Thursday. Overall, immunization rates remain high and haven’t changed much at the national level. But a pair of reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about immunizations for preschoolers and kindergartners highlights a growing concern among health officials and clinicians about children who aren’t getting the necessary protection against vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, whooping cough and other pediatric infectious diseases. The vast majority of parents across the country vaccinate their children and follow recommended schedules for this basic preventive practice. But the recent upswing in vaccine skepticism and outright refusal to vaccinate has spawned communities of undervaccinated children who are more susceptible to disease and pose health risks to the broader public.

Source: Washington Post Washington Post

Vaccine To Prevent Cervical Cancer Expanded As Colorado Rates Increase

Oct 10 2018

​According to the University of Colorado, rates of cervical cancer are increasing at a faster rate than than any other cancer. Now, a vaccine developed to prevent that type of cancer is being expanded to a larger age group. The Food and Drug Administration has expanded approval for Gardasil, the vaccinefor HPV, to anyone between the ages of 9 and 45. Certain strains of the virus can cause cancer and other diseases. Researchers say the vaccine has done wonders in Australia where every child in school gets the vaccine. Doctors there predict cervical cancer will be almost nonexistent in the country by 2060. “In the state of Colorado we see Cervical Cancer rates increasing more than any other cancer, and the main cause of cervical cancer is HPV as an infection, so if we can help prevent that infection through this vaccination, we can help prevent cancer,” said Dr. Sara Wettergreen, Assistant Professor Of Clinical Pharmacy at the University Of Colorado.

Source: CBS Denver CBS Denver

HPV Vaccine Expanded for People Ages 27 to 45

Oct 05 2018

The HPV vaccine, which prevents cervical cancer and other malignancies, is now approved for men and women from 27 to 45-years-old, the Food and Drug Administration said on Friday. The vaccine is Gardasil 9, made by Merck, and had been previously approved for minors and people up to age 26. It works against the human papillomavirus, HPV, which can also cause genital warts and cancers of the vulva, anus, penis and parts of the throat. The virus has many strains. It is sexually transmitted, and most adults encounter at least one strain at some point in their lives. The vaccine protects against nine strains, including those most likely to cause cancers and genital warts. “Today’s approval represents an important opportunity to help prevent HPV-related diseases and cancers in a broader age range,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the F.D.A.’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said in a statement.

Source: New York Times New York Times

Australia is on Track to Eliminate Cervical Cancer

Oct 03 2018

I​n 2018 alone, more than 500,000 women across the globe were diagnosed with cervical cancer, making it the fourth most common cancer among women. But promising news has emerged out of Australia: it’s on track to become the first country in the world to effectively eliminate the disease, according to a new study published in the Lancet. The new study has predicted the incidence of cervical cancer in Australia—where seven out of 100,000 women are currently diagnosed with the disease—will fall to fewer than six new cases out of 100,000 by 2020, a rate low enough for cervical cancer to be classified as rare. By 2028, the study found, there will be fewer than four new cases per 100,000 women; by 2066 the annual incidence of cervical cancer will be fewer than one new case per 100,000 women, reports Aisha Dow of the Sydney Morning Herald. Australia is not the only developed country to witness dramatic decreases in cervical cancer rates. In the United States, for instance, the incidence of the disease dropped by 50 percent between 1975 and 2014, thanks to increases in screenings for cervical cancer. Data from 2011 to 2015 indicated that the number of new cases of cervical cancer was 7.4 per 100,000 women per year in the U.S

Source: Smithsonian Smithsonian