Category Archives: immunizations

Measles

You’ve been hearing about measles outbreaks in the news lately.  Also called rubeola, measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus.  It causes a rash over the entire body, a fever and runny nose.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “About one out of 10 children with measles also gets an ear infection, and up to one out of 20 gets pneumonia.”  Measles can also, rarely, be fatal.  Between one and two children in 1000 who get the disease will die from it.  The disease can also strike adults.

If you thought measles was a disease left in the past, think again.  An outbreak this year in Ohio (374 cases in 4 months) has health departments all over the country concerned, because such an event can happen anywhere.  The Ohio outbreak began when unvaccinated people traveled abroad to places where measles is more common because a larger percentage of the population is unvaccinated.

It’s no coincidence that we used the word “unvaccinated” twice in that last sentence.  The reason measles is spreading again in the United States is because of a drop in MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccinations.  Those who decide not to be vaccinated (or to have their children vaccinated) put themselves, their families and their communities at risk for dangerous diseases.  As with most diseases, those at highest risk are the very young, the very old, and those with compromised immune systems.

The MMR vaccination is required for students in Scott County Schools, and HIGHLY recommended for all other children.  The State of Kentucky requires two doses of the MMR vaccine before your child can enter school.  If you have concerns about vaccinations, talk to your pediatrician.

Remember that the extremely rare risk of a reaction to a vaccination is much smaller than the risk of being unvaccinated against a dangerous illness.

© 2014, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved

Back to school ALREADY???

It seems as though summer just started, and we’re already talking about going back to school.  That’s because now is the right time to be thinking about getting your child’s medical exams and immunizations covered.

Exams and physicals.  Most sports (both school and community) will require that your child or teen have an annual physical.  You’ll see ads for retail clinics in stores and also physicals being held at the schools, but keep these things in mind:

  • Those places don’t have your child’s medical records.  Medical and immunization histories aren’t available to the person doing the physical or administering the immunizations.
  • They haven’t developed a relationship with you to know what is normal and appropriate for your family.
  • Follow up is minimal or altogether unavailable.
  • No nutritional counseling is available, which we believe to be extremely important.

For all those reasons and more, we highly recommend that you see your own pediatrician for back-to-school exams and immunizations.  (Check out our 2013 blog on store-based clinics here.)

          Immunizations.  Many immunizations are required by the state, and there are some additional ones recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  For example, Kentucky requires the meningitis vaccine for the 6th grade; we also are doing a booster at the age of 16 which isn’t state required but is recommended by both the CDC and AAP.  A printable immunization schedule for parents is available here from the CDC.

Concerned about immunizations?  Read the article, “Why Immunize?” at the CDC website.  Also, find here a series of articles from the AAP about a variety of immunizations.

Plan to arrange your pediatric appointments soon, so your teens and children will have everything they need before school starts.

In between your summer travel plans, pool days and sporting events, don’t forget to make room for health.

© 2014, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved