Recent News

Health department warns of measles exposure in Denver area

Jan 16 2019

A Denver adult has been diagnosed as having the measles after having traveled internationally, Denver Public Health said Wednesday. The person, whose age and gender were not released, had the contagious disease from Jan. 9 to Monday. Denver Public Health, the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are working to notify people who might have been exposed to measles from the person. Measles can be easily spread by coughing and sneezing, and can be dangerous for infants not old enough to be vaccinated, people with weakened immune systems and those who have not been immunized. Denver Public Health identified five locations and times that people could have been exposed to measles.

Source: FOX 31 Denver FOX 31 Denver

Denver health officials warn of possible measles exposure after returning traveler diagnosed

Jan 16 2019

A Denver resident has been diagnosed with measles after traveling abroad and others may have been exposed to the contagious respiratory illness, city and state health officials said Wednesday. The adult was contagious with measles between Jan. 9 and 14. Officials with Denver Public Health, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and the state health department are in the process of notifying people who may have been exposed, according to the news release. Measles symptoms, which can show up after seven to 14 days, include fever, runny nose, red eyes, coughing and a red rash on the face and body, the news release said. Health officials have identified five locations in Denver where people may have been exposed to measles.

Source: Denver Post Denver Post

Opinion: What Andy Samberg And Sandra Oh Got Right At The Golden Globes: Vaccines Are Worth Celebrating!

Jan 16 2019

​Last week at the Golden Globes, hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh made headlines as they tried to give out free flu shots to celebrities in the audience. This surprise stunt showed famous stars looking shocked and nervous as needle-wielding nurses descended from the stage to offer vaccinations. Samberg joked, “If you are an anti-vaxxer, just put a napkin on—perhaps over—your head and we will skip you.” This segment certainly got laughs, but perhaps more importantly it got the flu vaccine—and vaccinations in general—back into public discourse. Yes, it might be January but it’s not too late to get your flu shot. While flu season tends to peak between December and February, it can run as late as May. Furthermore, getting the flu shot saves lives. The CDC estimated that 80,000 Americans died from influenza and its complications last winter, which, to put into perspective, is equal to the number of Americans who died from diabetes in 2016. Our society perceives diabetes as a serious illness that can have major, life-altering complications (which it certainly can—causing blindness, amputation, and heart attacks) but when we think of flu, we often shrug it off as an inconvenience that means a few missed days of work or school. While that may be true for healthy adults, for young children with developing immune systems, older adults, and those with pre-existing health conditions, contracting the flu can be a death sentence. That’s why getting vaccinated is so important, it not only protects you but creates a larger “herd immunity”, which means the more vulnerable aren’t exposed.

Source: Forbes Forbes

Flu Shots for Children Linked to Less Sick Leave for Adults

Jan 15 2019

Vaccinating children against influenza may lead to adults in the household taking less sick leave from their jobs, according to a study that considered more than 24,000 US workers. The association between child vaccination and adult sick days held true only for people whose jobs provided paid time off for illness. Workers without paid sick leave were less likely to stay home when they or their child were sick, the investigators found. “Having a vaccinated child in the household, compared to having an unvaccinated household child, was associated with a 21% lower prevalence of sick leave usage for adults in the same house—but only when the adults had paid sick leave, William K. Bleser, PhD, MSPH, research associate at the Duke-Robert J. Margolis, MD, Center for Health Policy, told MD Magazine®. “It was not significant for adults without paid sick leave.” Bleser added that the finding document a new potential indirect benefit of child flu vaccine to other adults in the house. The study also indicates the importance of paid sick leave in caring for children and in preventing working adults from bringing their illness into the workplace, Bleser and colleagues from Pennsylvania State University and the Johns Hopkins University wrote in American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Source: MD Magazine MD Magazine

Educational videos in clinics increased adolescent HPV vaccinations

Jan 15 2019

​A study examining the effect of a video educational intervention aimed at increasing HPV vaccinations among adolescents could help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention meet its goal of getting more eligible adolescents vaccinated against certain cancers and diseases caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV). The research, performed by Regenstrief Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health at IUPUI and funded by Merck & Co., Inc., showed that patient-centered education strategies delivered at the doctor's office could lead to more people choosing HPV vaccination. HPV infection is linked to several types of cancer, including cervical cancer. The CDC estimates that 80% of sexually active people will be infected with at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives. Although the HPV vaccine demonstrated high clinical success rates against certain cancers, vaccination rates in adolescents remain low.

Source: Medical Xpress

Health Officials Warn of Measles Exposure

Jan 14 2019

Health officials in Los Angeles County are warning about possible exposure to measles amid a spike in cases elsewhere in the country in recent months. In late December, one person who was sick with the highly contagious viral infection visited several stores and restaurants in Malibu, Pasadena and Santa Monica while contagious, the Los Angeles Times reported. Officials said there is no remaining risk in those areas, but people who may have been near the infected person should watch for any symptoms of the illness, which is spread through cough or sneeze and causes fever, red eyes and a rash. Most people who haven't been immunized will get measles if they are exposed to the virus, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said. "If you think that you or someone you know has been exposed to or has measles, contact your healthcare provider by phone right away before going in," Dr. Muntu Davis, the county's health officer, said in a statement.

Source: US News & World Report US News & World Report

5 important differences between the cold and flu

Jan 14 2019

​You’re coughing, your muscles ache and you have a fever. Is it the flu? Or a cold? How can you possibly tell? “We all get the winter cold,” Dr. David Cennimo, an assistant professor in medicine and pediatrics in the division of infectious disease at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, told TODAY. “But, if you ever had full blown influenza you are not mistaking that for a cold.” The symptoms seem similar when it comes to the common cold and the flu. But there are subtle differences between the two. The experts share how flu differs from a cold. (And they all stress that flu can be prevented by getting the flu vaccine.) 1. High fever is associated with the flu. While people with colds might feel hot, a fever of 102 degrees or higher often signals that a person has the flu. “When I see a higher fever, I think first about influenza,” Cennimo said. Dr. Donald Middleton agreed that high fever is a telltale sign someone's grappling with flu. “Most of the time you can’t tell. But if you get a high fever of 102 or 103 and severe sore throat and cough that won’t stop, it can be flu,” the family medicine doctor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center told TODAY.


Vaccines: Not Just for Kids

Jan 14 2019

​If you have children, you know how important it is to keep up with their immunization schedule. But getting vaccines and booster shots is vital throughout adulthood as well. The most common adult shot is the yearly flu vaccine, recommended for just about every adult. Some fight three flu strains, others, four. However, there's more to do. You might not realize that you should have a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (or Tdap) booster every 10 years. Pertussis, better known as whooping cough, has been making a comeback because not enough people have been getting re-immunized. And if you didn't have chickenpox or the varicella vaccine as a child, you're a candidate for the two-dose immunization. Other recommended vaccines: Women up to age 26 should have the HPV vaccine; it's given to men up to age 21, and under some circumstances, up to 26. The newest version protects against nine types of the human papillomavirus, the ones most heavily associated with cancers, such as cervical cancer. Depending on your age and the type of measles-mumps-rubella vaccine you were given as a child, you might be a candidate for a two-dose MMR vaccination.

Source: USA News & World Report USA News & World Report

How anti-vax pseudoscience seeps into public discourse

Jan 13 2019

J​ust as sure as flu season comes every year, so do the conversations and consternation over the flu vaccine. Even at The Golden Globes did this pervasive, controversial topic come up, with hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh announcing that techs from Rite Aid would be providing flu shots to attendees. This bold move was meant to call out the vocal anti-vaccine celebrities who use their platform to expound views that are not scientifically informed. The flu vaccine brings along its own particular form of controversy, as many who refuse to get the flu shot insist that they are not “anti-vaxxers.” Yet, the arguments spouted by those who refuse to get their shot are grounded in as little scientific basis as those typically given by anti-vaxxers. Every time I get the flu vaccine I get sick is a common one. Yep, it’s true, you can feel ill after getting the flu vaccine. But you didn’t get the flu from the vaccine. The most likely reason for aches and flu-like symptoms is that the flu vaccine worked! It stimulates the immune system to make the appropriate antibodies, causes a bit of inflammation and that can cause uncomfortable symptoms. Another explanation is that you actually got sick, either from the flu virus you picked up prior to getting the vaccine, or from a completely different virus all together.

Source: Salon Salon

Severe Flu Raises Risk Of Birth Problems For Pregnant Women, Babies

Jan 10 2019

Need another reason to get the flu shot if you're pregnant? A study out this week shows that pregnant women with the flu who are hospitalized in an intensive care unit are four times more likely to deliver babies prematurely and four and a half times more likely to have a baby of low birth weight. Researchers compared 490 pregnant women with the flu and 1,451 who did not have the flu. Sixty-four of the women with flu were so ill that they were admitted to a hospital ICU. The results appear in the journal Birth Defects Research. The study also found that babies of the most seriously ill women were eight times more likely to have low Apgar scores, a measure of a baby's health in the minutes after birth. The test assesses the baby's color, heart rate, reflexes, muscle tone and breathing. It's not clear exactly how being in the ICU may have affected the newborns, says Dr. Sonja Rasmussen of the University of Florida College of Medicine, one of the study's authors. She doesn't think the virus itself causes the problems, but concedes there's not enough information to draw firm conclusions.

Source: NPR NPR