TMA has tools to help you talk to your patients about the realities of diseases preventable by childhood and adult vaccinations. Each month’s installment features a different vaccine-preventable disease.
Child-bearing women may not realize they pass on disease-fighting antibodies to their babies, protecting them early in life. That protection improves greatly when women get certain vaccines before and during pregnancy. They also may not realize getting vaccinated right after pregnancy can stop the spread of illnesses.
Despite its name, Haemophilus influenzae type b – or Hib – doesn’t cause influenza. In the 1890s, doctors thought this bacteria might cause flu and – despite later research showing flu is caused by a virus – the name stuck.
Most people know little about diphtheria today thanks to the effectiveness of its vaccine. But fear of this highly contagious bacterial infection – which chokes off patients’ ability to breathe – was once so strong that it accidentally gave birth to a major sporting event: the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.
Meningococcal B (MenB) vaccine is the new kid on the block for children and adolescents, having won Food and Drug Administration approval in 2014. This presents a problem for physicians: Because there is an older vaccine for the other types of meningococcal bacteria, many patients who’ve had that vaccine wrongly believe they’re also protected against MenB.
There are six different vaccines for hepatitis B in the United States, so there’s no shortage of tools to prevent it. Yet in 2016, more than 1,698 people in this country – and more than 780,000 worldwide – died from this viral liver infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization.
Tetanus goes by the nickname “lockjaw” for good reason: It causes painful spasms that typically occur in jaw muscles but can wrack the entire body, and can be fatal.
Although an anti-vaccine movement has continued to grow in Texas, the vast majority of voters support requiring vaccinations for Texas children, results from a poll released this week show. This is the third public opinion survey with very similar findings to be released in Texas in the past nine months.
Mumps spreads easily through sneezing and coughing, or just touching infected surfaces. A vaccine, first introduced in 1967, reduced U.S. cases by 99 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Polio once terrified Americans. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the virus crippled around 35,000 Americans a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Because polio often attacked abdominal muscles used to breathe, many died or permanently needed a respirator called an iron lung.
Rotavirus is so common that it’s the cause of most cases of diarrhea for young children in the world today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is a highly contagious viral infection that inflames the lining of the stomach and intestines, and especially affects children 2 years old and younger.
The virus that causes rubella often appears deceptively mild — so mild in fact that one-quarter to half of people infected with it will have no symptoms at all, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The “whoop” that gives whooping cough its name is a terrifying sound. It’s the sound of someone — usually a child — gasping for breath.
The flu is serious, and the shot can prevent or minimize the illness. The United States can see up to 710,000 flu-related hospitalizations and up to 56,000 deaths each year, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year in Texas, a particularly bad year, there were more than 11,000 flu-related deaths, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
Remember those itchy pockmarks so many people used to get as kids? That’s the varicella-zoster virus, or chickenpox. Parents and patients might not know that same virus does double-duty: It can cause chickenpox when you’re young and reactivate later in life as a painful, blistery rash called shingles.
All Texas public schools (and most private schools) and colleges require students to have certain shots before they can attend classes.
Your patients might not be familiar with meningococcal disease because it is relatively rare in the United States. But when it hits, it’s nasty, leading to meningitis or bloodstream infections, among other ailments.
Your patients might not have heard of pneumococcal bacteria, but they probably know some of its serious conditions: Pneumonia, meningitis, sinusitis, blood infections, and ear infections.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious viral infection that can make people very ill or even kill them. The disease attacks the liver, and people spread it through contact with infected fecal matter.
Measles, an awful disease that is incredibly contagious, was essentially eradicated in the United States, because most everyone got the vaccine against it. But it's making a comeback, including in a few areas in Texas.
HPV — short for human papillomavirus — is the world’s most common sexually transmitted infection. And it can cause cancer.
Immunizations: TMA and Texas Immunization Policy
Be Wise — Immunize
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