Do you want to know about travel alerts as soon as they are released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)? If so, the CDC offers three convenient ways for you to access travel health alerts:
People with chronic hepatitis infections typically do not experience symptoms of infection, so most affected people do not know they have hepatitis until serious liver damage occurs.
To highlight the importance of getting tested for early detection and treatment of chronic hepatitis infections, May 19 has been designated as National Hepatitis Testing Day in the United States. During this time, healthcare providers and health officials educate patients and at-risk individuals about viral hepatitis and encourage testing among this group.
Hepatitis testing involves a blood test that measures antibody levels for different types of hepatitis. For example, hepatitis C testing is done by looking for hepatitis C antibodies. People who should be tested for hepatitis include baby boomers (people born between 1945 and 1965), injected drug users, healthcare workers, and household contacts of people infected with hepatitis. If you think you should be tested for hepatitis, talk to your doctor or find a hepatitis testing center near you.
April 20-27 is National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW), a week in which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with health departments, community leaders, national immunization groups and healthcare professionals from across the United States, remind everyone about the importance of getting infants and children immunized by highlighting the benefits of childhood vaccinations and progress in this effort. Learn more about NIIW»
NIIW is scheduled to coincide with similar efforts in other parts of the world. This larger effort, known as World Immunization Week (WIW), not only promotes the importance of immunization, but also works to increase access to vaccines in countries where it is currently limited. WIW will be held April 24-30. Learn more about WIW»
Learn about Vaccination Week in the Americas, another immunization initiative scheduled to take place during WIW, in this month’s Around the World article»
Clinical studies for vaccines are extensive and the licensing requirements are complex. In fact, when the manufacturer of the rotavirus vaccine, known as RotaTeq®, got all of the licensing paperwork ready to submit to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the amount of paper was so large that if it was stacked in a single pile, its height would have exceeded that of the Sears Tower in Chicago.
Read this month’s Feature Article, “How vaccines are made,” to learn more about vaccine development.
Immunogens are the parts of a vaccine to which the body’s immune system makes an immune response. Because children receive so many vaccines today, parents sometimes wonder whether they are getting too many vaccines. However, children today receive vaccines that contain fewer immunogens than children in the 1900s and the 1980s:
This reduced number of immunogens, despite the higher number of vaccines, is possible because of improvements in technology.
January is “Cervical Cancer Awareness” month. Cervical cancer is one of several types of cancer caused by HPV infection and is one of the most common cancers affecting women. Each year, 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and about 4,200 die from the disease. Cervical cancer is most commonly caused by long-lasting infection with HPV types 16 or 18. Because the HPV vaccine protects against these two types of HPV, girls and young women age 9 through 26 years are recommended to get the HPV vaccine.
During January, check with the young women in your life to be sure they are aware of the HPV vaccine as a way to prevent cervical cancer.
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