Most of us are familiar with the need to achieve immunization against tetanus (“lockjaw”) and diphtheria. Fewer are familiar with the need to immunize against pertussis (“whooping cough”). Boostrix is a vaccine used to achieve immunity against all three. Until recently, there had not been a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against pertussis intended for use in elders (ages 65 years and older). On July 8, 2011, the FDA approved Boostrix for use in this population of seniors.
The link to the FDA announcement is http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm262390.htm
Whooping cough is not a trivial disease. It is a highly communicable infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is transmitted by respiratory secretions or large droplets from the respiratory tract of an infected person. In children, whooping cough is typified by Read more »
This post, FDA Approves Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis Vaccine For Adults Over 65, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
Sichuan earthquake rescue workers carrying an injured person. In light of the widespread media coverage of natural disasters, such as the earthquake in Haiti and the tsunami in Japan, the public and medical professionals are aware of the anticipated immediate medical needs in these kinds of emergencies. However, it is less well known that after the initial management of life- and limb-threatening injuries, there may be an enormous need to provide care to persons with chronic illnesses. This is because they are displaced from their homes, become exposed to adverse environmental and socioeconomic hardships, lose access to healthcare, are deprived of their sources of medications, and so forth.
Some of my colleagues were allowed to enter Japan after the tsunami, and their observations agree with this assessment, which was also confirmed in a recent paper, “Chronic health needs immediately after natural disasters in middle-income countries: the case of the 2008 Sichuan, China earthquake,” authored by Emily Chan and Jackie Kim (Eur J Emerg Med 2011;18:111-114). The authors considered physical, social and public health preparedness. Read more »
This post, Chronic Health Needs Must Be Addressed After A Natural Disaster, was originally published on
Healthine.com by Paul Auerbach, M.D..
Vaccines have saved more lives than any other medical intervention in history. They are incredibly safe and effective and are well-tolerated by most people. In the US, the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) carefully reviews all reports of adverse reactions that could be associated with vaccines. Over decades of review, they have found that the rate of potential severe reactions is so low that they cannot even calculate a risk.
There are many vaccines available for babies, children, and adults. Please check these vaccine schedules to make sure that you and your family are fully protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. (Or you can ask your doctor/nurse to review your vaccine needs with you in person.)
Vaccines for ages 0-6 click here.
Vaccines for ages 7-18 click here.
Vaccines for adults click here.
In case you have any doubts about the value of protecting yourself from disease, here are my top 10 reasons to get vaccinated: Read more »
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a “travel health notice” to its citizens who plan to travel to California. Childhood vaccination against whooping cough (pertussis) has dropped low enough to result in a 7-fold increase in the number of infections over the past year alone.
An increasing number of parents are opting out of vaccines, a trend that could threaten to reverse the preventive health gains we’ve made against certain infectious diseases this past century. How scary is that?
Incidentally, whooping cough can be lethal — killing a small percentage of kids who suffocate from the damage it does to the respiratory tract. For more information about whooping cough, I recommend the Mayo Clinic’s consumer health website.
To all the moms and dads out there, please vaccinate your kids. The benefits far outweigh any potential harms. And to you Canadians, make sure you’re vaccinated before you go to California.