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The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Vaccine Education Center Parents PACK Newsletter

October 2012

Parents PACK Announcement: Survey

Within the next few days, the Vaccine Education Center will be sending you a survey to assess your satisfaction with our Parents PACK newsletter. Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback. 

Trivia Corner: Vaccine-preventable Disease Acquired by Travel

What is one of the most common vaccine-preventable diseases acquired during travel?
Find out»  

Feature Article: Whooping Cough Update

The number of people being diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis) has continued to rise since news of an outbreak was first announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2012.

Get more information about current cases and learn more about whooping cough and how to prevent it»  

Spotlight: My Experience With Shingles

Kevin’s day started out like any other, but soon it turned into a day full of pain and discomfort.

Kevin first noticed a blister on the right side of his head when he took off his motorcycle helmet. The next day, this blister turned into a trail of redness and soon, Kevin also had a blister on his forehead and right eyebrow. Eventually, his right eye swelled. After seeing a doctor, Kevin was diagnosed with shingles and prescribed medicine. Although Kevin’s shingles rash went away after 10 days, pain and numbness lingered where the rash had been. Nine months later, another shingles rash developed.

To this day, a year later, Kevin still experiences residual pain and sensitivity where he had shingles blisters. Every day he takes special care not to touch his scars because, if he does, the pain is unbearable.
 

Did You Know? One Virus Causes Chickenpox and Shingles

If you have ever had chickenpox, you can get shingles because the virus that causes chickenpox also causes shingles. After a chickenpox infection, the virus lives silently in the nerves. When the virus re-awakens, usually due to age or a weakening immune system, it causes shingles, a very painful rash that typically occurs along a nerve path.

Ask the VEC: Incorrect Hepatitis A Vaccine Dose

Q. My grandson received an adult dose of the hepatitis A vaccine instead of a child’s dose; will he be harmed?  

A. While child dosing is meant to provide sufficient immunity with the least amount of vaccine, it is unlikely that receiving the adult dose of the hepatitis A vaccine will harm your grandson. Although he could be more likely to experience side effects caused by the vaccine, such as a sore arm or headache up to four days after the shot, your grandson should be fine.  

Around the World: Global Polio Status and Eradication

Although smallpox is the only vaccine-preventable disease that has been eradicated, we are close to having a second disease eradicated â€” polio. However, polio transmission has never been stopped in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Nigeria. Further, outbreaks, typically due to international travel, continue to occur in other countries. Because the disease spreads through travel and because continued funding and cooperation are imperative to finishing the job, we all must do our part to accomplish this awesome task.  

Be protected during travel
Because polio spreads across borders, travelers should be sure they are immune before international trips. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated the list of destinations that may increase one’s chance for exposure. The list includes not only Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, but also other countries such as China, India and Iran. 

See the complete list on the CDC’s website.

Travelers should always check with healthcare providers to be sure immunizations are up to date and discuss other safety measures, such as proper hand hygiene and safe water and food practices.

Learn more about preparing for travel»


Eradication efforts
To bring the goal of global polio eradication to fruition, The End of Polio campaign was started by the Global Poverty Project.

The End of Polio campaign is the world's largest peace-time effort, with more than 20 million health workers and volunteers working to support efforts already in place to eradicate polio (i.e. the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, Rotary International, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, and the Gates Foundation programs).

By working to increase public support for polio eradication and encouraging government leaders to provide funding, leaders of The End of Polio campaign hope polio can finally be eradicated. According to Judith Rowland, who works for the Global Poverty Project: “Polio eradication is possible and steps to inform the government of this interest will have tangible and concrete effects on the fight against polio.”  

Learn more about The End of Polio campaign» 

Additional Resources

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ABOUT THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA®
Founded in 1855, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is the birthplace of pediatric medicine in America. Throughout its history, a passionate spirit of innovation has driven this renowned institution to pursue scientific discovery, establish the highest standards of patient care, train future leaders in pediatrics, and advocate for children’s health. A haven of hope for children and families worldwide, CHOP is a nonprofit charitable organization that relies on the generous support of its donors to continue to set the global standard for pediatric care.

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