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Get vaccinated to prevent serious diseases

The cases of measles and whooping cough are increasing because of declining immunization rates.

 

NEW YORK, - The outbreak of measles that began in California and spread to several other states earlier this year demonstrated that vaccine-preventable diseases are not a thing of the past, as many Americans seem to believe. Some potentially disabling and fatal infectious diseases are making a comeback, and vaccines are critically important to preventing these once-common childhood diseases from threatening the public's health again.

 

"These recent outbreaks teach us that these diseases are still around and can show up anywhere," said Mark H. Sawyer, MD, professor, Clinical Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases, University of California, San Diego School of Medicine-Rady Children's Hospital. "Making sure everyone is immunized can prevent future widespread outbreaks and create herd immunity that will protect vulnerable people who can't get the vaccine because their immune systems are suppressed or because they are too young to be immunized."

 

Even pregnant women should be immunized, according to Sonja Rasmussen, MD, MS, Editor-in-Chief, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "A pregnant woman should get all the recommended vaccinations, including a pertussis booster and an annual flu shot. Being immunized not only protects her health, it protects her baby from the day it's born," Dr. Rasmussen said.

 

The two leading experts on vaccines made their comments and presented their latest research at a luncheon sponsored by the March of Dimes. The March of Dimes funded the development of the polio vaccine and encourages parents to keep their children and the community of children safe by following the schedule of vaccination recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. (SOURCE: March of Dimes)

 

Photo: Fotolia

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