NATIONAL INFANT IMMUNIZATION WEEK

Immunization is one of the best ways parents can protect their infants from 14 serious childhood diseases before age 2. Vaccinate your child according to the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule for safe, proven disease protection.

Call JNCPHD at 409-384-6829 to see if your child is eligible for vaccines through the Texas Vaccines for Children program.

This is a program for children who otherwise may not have access to the recommended childhood vaccines.

Pertussis Prompts Texas Health Alert

The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging people to make sure they’re vaccinated against pertussis (whooping cough) after projections show the number of people sick with the deadly disease this year is on track to reach the highest level in more than 50 years.

“This is extremely concerning. If cases continue to be diagnosed at the current rate, we will see the most Texas cases since the 1950s,” said Dr. Lisa Cornelius, DSHS infectious diseases medical officer. “Pertussis is highly infectious and can cause serious complications, especially in babies, so people should take it seriously.”

DSHS issued a health alert today advising doctors on diagnosing and treating pertussis. The state health department also strongly encourages people to make sure their children’s and their own vaccinations are up to date. While infants remain the most at risk, people of all ages can still get pertussis.

DSHS has reported nearly 2,000 pertussis cases so far this year, and the annual total likely will surpass the recent high of 3,358 cases in 2009. There have also been two pertussis-related deaths in Texas this year, both of infants too young to be vaccinated.

Continue reading “Pertussis Prompts Texas Health Alert”

The Start of Flu Season Means it’s Time for Vaccination

With flu season officially underway, the Texas Department of State Health Services urges everyone at least 6 months old to get vaccinated against the flu. A vaccination now will provide protection throughout the flu season, which runs through May.

“Flu is very unpredictable,” said DSHS Commissioner Dr. David Lakey. “We don’t know exactly what this flu season will look like, but we do know the flu is circulating in Texas and getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone 6 months old or older be vaccinated against seasonal flu. The CDC also says that children under age 9 who are getting the flu vaccine for the first time should get two doses at least four weeks apart.

The flu is caused by various influenza viruses. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat, aches, chills and fatigue. Most healthy people recover without problems, but people 65 and over, pregnant women, young children and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk for serious complications and even death. It is especially important for people in those high-risk groups to be vaccinated.

The flu vaccine protects against three viruses and is reformulated each year to match the influenza viruses researchers expect to be circulating. This year’s vaccine will protect against the strains A/California/7/2009 (H1N1), A/Victoria/361/2011 (H3N2) and B/Wisconsin/1/2010.

In addition to getting vaccinated, people should help stop the spread of the flu and other illnesses by covering all coughs and sneezes, washing their hands frequently and staying home when sick.

People can contact their health care provider, local health department or dial 2-1-1 to find out where to get a flu shot.

Flu information and tips for protecting against the flu are at texasflu.org.