Outbreaks of hepatitis A in several states prompt reminder to protect yourself by getting vaccinated

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

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Pertussis among us: Have you been immunized against whooping cough?

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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

Flu season has arrived in Idaho – Get your annual vaccination by end of October!

Flu ShotsWe at the Department of Health and Welfare have started tracking flu season, and you know what that means — it’s time to get the annual flu vaccine. We have had some indications that the season may hit us earlier this year than in recent years, so don’t delay. Flu season can last from October to May, and it typically peaks anytime between December and March. Getting vaccinated now is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from what can be a serious infection, even for otherwise healthy people. Continue reading

It’s National Immunization Awareness Month: Protect yourself, your family & your community

Immunization Poster2500pThis 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

Are your children current on their immunizations?

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(Note: A Closer Look At Your Health airs at 6:50 a.m. most Tuesdays on KBOI News Radio 670. This is an edited transcript of the segment from April 19.)

This week is a good time to ponder that question because it’s National Infant Immunization Week, and World Immunization Week is next week. It’s a good time to talk about making sure you and your family are fully protected against infectious 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. Continue reading