Since 2016, more than 15,000 people nationwide have been reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with hepatitis A, and 140 have died. This is a dramatic increase in hepatitis A infections and is caused by person-to-person spread of the virus. Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection. Large-scale outbreaks have been reported in several states, including Utah and California. Since it is on the rise, it’s a good time to check your immunization status and get the vaccine if you still need it.
What are some of the most common symptoms of hepatitis A?
Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, diarrhea, clay-colored stools, and yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice). People with hepatitis A can feel sick for several months.
How do you get hepatitis A?
Hepatitis A virus can be picked up from objects, surfaces, food, or drinks contaminated with fecal matter from an infected person. Hepatitis A can also be spread through person-to-person contact with an infected person by having sex or caring for someone who is ill. Continue reading
Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases in the world, and it is literally just a state away. Washington is reporting an outbreak, and cases of the dangerous disease have been reported in Oregon. Knowing this, it’s very important to make sure your measles vaccination is up to date.
What is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones?
Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease. Getting an MMR immunization, which protects you against measles, mumps, and rubella, is the best way to protect yourself and your family, as well as your friends and community.
Who should get the vaccine?
You should talk to your medical provider about whether your family members already are immune or need to be vaccinated. Otherwise, all children should get one dose of vaccine when they are 12-15 months old and a second dose when they are 4 to 6 years old before they begin school. All school-aged children and students entering college should have received two doses of the MMR vaccine. And adults born after 1956 who are not sure they had measles or if they were vaccinated should receive at least one dose of the vaccine.
Adult healthcare workers and international travelers should receive two doses. Babies may receive the vaccine as early as 6 months if they are traveling internationally. Continue reading
Measles is one of the most highly contagious diseases in the world. It is just a plane ride away, and sometimes you don’t even have to get on a plane. We have seen several recent reports about people in airports in other states being exposed to measles after an infected person traveled through. As you might be traveling for spring break or making summer vacation travel plans, it’s important to make sure your measles vaccination is up to date. Continue reading
Pertussis has been in the news recently, with 17 cases of the disease – also known as whooping cough – in Ada County reported since October 1. This year, 58 cases of pertussis have been reported statewide compared to 83 last year and 194 in 2015. While the numbers are going down, pertussis cases trend like a wave so we could see rising numbers in the coming years, and it’s a good time to remind everyone to get immunized. Continue reading
This month is National Immunization Awareness Month, so with summer winding down and many kids already going back to school, be sure to check immunization requirements, especially for kindergartners and seventh graders. It’s also a good time to check records for everyone in your family, including adults. Getting immunized is a safe and important step to protecting our families and ourselves against serious and even deadly diseases throughout our lives. Continue reading
This week is National Infant Immunization Week and it’s also World Immunization Week, so it’s a good time to talk about the importance of protecting infants in Idaho and around the world from vaccine-preventable diseases.
This week, the focus is on infants. Why infants specifically instead of all children?
While it’s important that all children have received the recommended vaccinations, giving babies the recommended immunizations by the time they are 2 is the best way to protect them from 14 serious childhood diseases, including whooping cough and measles. Parents are encouraged to talk to their child’s doctor to make sure their babies’ immunizations are up-to-date.
Some parents may not trust that vaccines are safe, so they may not immunize their children. What would you say to those parents?
We know that parents want to do what’s best for their children, and if they have concerns about the safety or necessity of a particular vaccine, they should talk to their children’s doctors about that. Generally, vaccines are very safe, and they are monitored continuously to make sure they stay that way. Continue reading
As if we don’t have enough to worry about with cold and flu viruses, we also have something called rotavirus disease to consider. It is easily spread among babies and young children, especially now, and it can be quite serious and even result in hospitalization. Western states, including Idaho, are seeing more cases of rotavirus disease right now, so it’s a good time to learn the symptoms and what can be done about it.
What are the symptoms?
It generally takes about two days for symptoms to develop. They include watery diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pain. The vomiting and diarrhea can last from three to eight days. Other symptoms can include a loss of appetite and dehydration. And even though now is a common time to become infected, it can be spread at any time of the year. Continue reading